While R&D is an important input to innovation, there is growing evidence that a significant share of innovation is not born from formal R&D activity. Given the importance of innovation for economic growth and the central role of innovation in policy debates, the project will expand the study of innovation to include non-R&D innovations and analyze the drivers and outcomes of non-R&D compared to R&D-based innovations. The project includes three key parts: a detailed review and analysis of new and traditional indicators of innovation, including estimates of the rates of non-R&D innovation; modeling and empirically testing the relation between knowledge environments and innovation type (R&D v. non-R&D); and examining the impact of innovation type on willingness to participate in markets for technology, and how invention idiosyncrasy affects this relationship. The research also addresses more fundamental questions in the science of science and innovation policy on the nature of knowledge in the innovation process and the likely outcomes of inventions embedding different characteristics.
Broader Impacts: The project's goal is to broaden the understanding of innovation and leverage this broader understanding in order to develop theories of innovation and improve the empirical foundation for innovation policy. Findings will contribute to ongoing efforts at NSF to develop more sophisticated innovation measures, as well as make important contributions to understandings of non-R&D innovations and helping organizations build their strategies for innovation related to knowledge environments. In addition, the findings on willingness-to-license by invention type may help firms devise better strategies for commercializing their new technologies. One objective is to broaden understanding of the innovation process and build an empirical base to guide policymaking that would address this broader universe of innovative activity, including building new models of the R&D decision, new metrics (non-R&D innovation, idiosyncrasy) and new results on the innovation process.