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Accelerating Energy InnovationInsights from Multiple Sectors$
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Rebecca M. Henderson and Richard G. Newell

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226326832

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226326856.001.0001

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Implications for Energy Innovation from the Chemical Industry

Implications for Energy Innovation from the Chemical Industry

(p.87) 3 Implications for Energy Innovation from the Chemical Industry
Accelerating Energy Innovation

Ashish Arora

Alfonso Gambardella

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the sources of innovation in the chemical industry, an industry that resembles some aspects of the energy sector in the chemical industry's focus on process development, and whose early development was significantly more global than those of the others. It describes the switch in coal-based raw materials to those derived from oil and gas, and briefly analyzes two government programs—synthetic rubber and synfuels—that have attempted to promote innovation. In the case of chemical innovation, energy innovation is more likely to be successful and effective when private research and development (R&D) from diverse sources is stimulated and strong patents protection is combined with robust antitrust enforcement. The chapter discusses the specialized engineering firms that have played an important role in the diffusion of important innovations and the effects that government policies have had on fostering innovation.

Keywords:   chemical industries, innovation, research and development, engineering firms, government programs

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