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Recent Award

Collaborative Research: Government Responses to Network Failures: The Case of the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships

While inter-firm networks provide an increasingly important alternative to arm's length transactions in knowledge-intensive industries, they are notoriously difficult to build and maintain. Various hypotheses have been advanced for the sources of such collaboration: cultural, organizational and institutional . This research attempts to quantify the relative importance of the factors contributing to the success of collaboration projects by developing and analyzing survey and interview-based indicators of public inputs to network production among small and mid-sized firms-with a particular focus on their provision through the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships sponsored by the Federal Government.

Intellectual Merit: This research contributes to the literature about the rationale for government intervention to foster innovation in the United States. Government intervention is typically justified as a response to market failure, and represents an effort to make markets more competitive. However, a growing body of literature argues that innovation tends to occur in "collaborative spaces" that are sheltered from market competition. The focus of the research is to examine whether there is a mismatch between the process of innovation and the rationale for innovation policy. The research examines the relative importance of public inputs to network production among small and medium-sized firms in a study of the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEPs) sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Broader Impact: The research produces a publicly available data set that can be used to examine the relationship between government inputs and network production. The results inform a variety of different disciplines, such as economics, sociology and political science. The study also engages and trains graduate students in the research processes.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010 to Saturday, May 31, 2014

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