Mapping the interdisciplinary nature and co-evolutionary patterns in five nano-industrial sectors

Lili Wang & Ad Notten


Along with the rapid growth of nanoscience research and the wide application of nanotechnology into various industrial fields, the innovation patterns and co-evolutionary natures of multiple nano industrial sectors has drawn much attention from scholars. Based on a continuously updated nano-publication database, this paper explores the learning and integrative dynamics in nano industrial sectors through the means of co-word analysis, citation distribution across sectors and institutional cooperation. We argue that the general trend of integration in nano sectors is converging in the long run, although the degree of this convergence depends greatly on the indicators one chooses. Our results show that nano technologies applied in the five studied nano industries become more diverse over time. One sector learns more and more related technologies from other sectors. The publication and citation analysis also proves that nano technology has developed to a relatively mature stage and has become a standardized and codified technology.

Keywords: Nanoscience and nanotechnology, sectoral innovation systems, interdisciplinarity, industrial sectors, publication analysis, institutional cooperation

JEL Classification: O31, O32, L52, L65

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