IFI EBPM in STI/STIG Policy Platform Seminar: Technological trajectories: Antecedents predicting their diffusion over time and space

  • Date:
  • Time:
    16:50-18:30 (JST)
  • Location:
    SMBC Academia Hall, 4th floor, International Academic Research building, The University of Tokyo
  • Host:

    Institute for Future Initiatives, The University of Tokyo

  • Co-host:

    Science, Technology and Innovation Governance (STIG) Program, UTokyo

  • Language:


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Guest speaker

Prof. Michele Pezzoni
Associate Professor, Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS, GREDEG (France)
ICRIOS, Bocconi University (Italy)


Despite scholars’ high interest in identifying inventions that have a big impact, little attention has been devoted to investigating what drives how (fast) novel technologies embodied in these inventions are re-used in subsequent inventions. We overcome this limitation by empirically identifying novel technologies, mapping their reuse trajectories, and examining the characteristics of the novel technologies affecting trajectories’ shape. Using patent data, we identify on a large scale novel technologies as new combinations of existing technological components. The first invention using the new combination marks the origin of the trajectory, while all the subsequent inventions re-using the same new combination shape the technological trajectory. In our study sample, we identify 10,782 technological trajectories. For each of these trajectories, we identify its take off time and its maximum technological impact, as defined by its maximum number of follow-on inventions. We find that an S-shaped curve provides high goodness of fit for our trajectories, but that there is substantial heterogeneity in take off time and maximum technological impact. In searching for the antecedent characteristics of the novel technologies shaping their trajectories, we find that complex novel technologies resulting from combining dissimilar technological components with strong science-based content are associated with trajectories showing a
long take off time but with a high technological impact. In contrast, combining similar components that are familiar to inventors, results in a short take off time but a low technological impact.

Speaker's Bio

Michele Pezzoni is Associate Professor at Université Côte d’Azur (France), and he is also affiliated to ICRIOS, Bocconi University, and BRICK, Collegio Carlo Alberto. He received Ph.D. in Economics and Technology Management from University of Bergamo (Italy), and had postdoc experiences at EPFL, Bicocca University, and University of Brescia. His main research interest concerns the economics of science and innovation. His research focuses on the investigation of the determinants of knowledge production and diffusion in the domains of science and technology. In these topics, his work has been published in prestigious journals such as Research Policy, Industrial and Corporate Change, and Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.


Secretariat, Institute for Future Initiatives, UTokyo
Technology Governance Policy Research Unit
E-mail: ifi_tg[at]ifi.u-tokyo.ac.jp(replace [at] with @)