Obsessed with Time? White Rabbit At CERN
61 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2019
Date Written: March 2019
To conduct research in fundamental science, big-science research infrastructures develop some of the most sophisticated technologies in existence. As such, mechanisms that can facilitate the transfer and commercialization of these technologies have vast potential to contribute to economic and social welfare. Scientists and engineers at CERN were confronted with the problem of minute data latency that was corrupting scientific measurements in their geographically distributed computing network. In response, they developed White Rabbit (WR) as open source hardware (OSH). In a context of basic research and a deliberate decision to share the R&D process openly with no IP restrictions, WR is now commercialized in diverse economic sectors including finance, telecommunications, energy, Internet of Things (IoT), and air traffic control. We analyze the emergence, development, and exploitation of WR to a) identify the antecedents in which complex R&D-intensive OSH differs from open source software (OSS), b) capture the mechanisms employed by CERN to stimulate firms’ R&D revelation and WR collaborative development, and c) investigate the business model configurations that companies have adopted in the commercial implementation of WR.
Keywords: open source innovation, open source hardware, open business models, technology transfer
JEL Classification: M1, M2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation