Accelerating Energy Innovation: Insights from Multiple Sectors

23 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2009

See all articles by Richard G. Newell

Richard G. Newell

Duke University - Nicholas School of Environment; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Resources for the Future

Rebecca M. Henderson

Harvard Business School; NBER

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Date Written: December 5, 2009

Abstract

Accelerating the rate of innovation in energy is a critical component of any effective response to the threat of climate change. This book is designed to contribute to the debate as to how this can best be done through a focus on the history of four sectors of the US economy that have historically seen very rapid increases in the rate of innovation: agriculture, chemicals, life sciences, and information technology. In a sequence of seven chapters leading experts in the history of innovation in each sector explore the role that public and private policy has played in enabling accelerated innovation. Together they highlight the ways in which effective public policy in highly innovative sectors has been integrated (albeit rarely by design) into a complex innovation system that includes three critical elements: (1) substantial, differentiated, end-user demand that enables private firms commercializing the technology to anticipate healthy returns; (2) the sustained funding and effective management of fundamental research; and (3) the development of an institutional environment that includes robust mechanisms to promote the widespread diffusion of both knowledge and technology and that favors vigorous private-sector competition.

Suggested Citation

Newell, Richard G. and Henderson, Rebecca M., Accelerating Energy Innovation: Insights from Multiple Sectors (December 5, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1519105 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1519105

Richard G. Newell

Duke University - Nicholas School of Environment ( email )

Box 90228
Durham, NC 27708-0328
United States
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Resources for the Future ( email )

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Rebecca M. Henderson (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

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Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

NBER

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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