Want in on nanotechnology? Capitalize on collaborative environments

“The 21th century has been hailed the nano-century, and major technological breakthroughs are expected from the control of the matter at the nanoscale. However, despite its promises, nanotechnology still seems to be stuck in the status of an emerging science,” contend Assistant Professor Raphael Zingg of Waseda University and Dr. Marius Fischer of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition. With their work published in Nano Today on February 22, 2019, they aim at shedding light on the issue of technology transfer; how can the knowledge developed by universities be transferred to private entities that will develop commercial products.

To study the issue, Prof. Zingg and Dr. Fischer examined aggregated data on nanotechnology patents by identifying all European patent applications relating to nanostructures from 1991-2016. Their findings showed that patents filed jointly by private and public organizations are on the rise, albeit on a small level.

“While research institutions still develop the majority of their patents independently, our data fleshes out promising signs that private–public knowledge transfer is coming to fruition. Encouraging an environment where research institutions and private firms engage in collaboration is conducive to innovation in nanotechnology,” writes Prof. Zingg.

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