How General Are General Purpose Technologies? Evidence from nano-, bio- and ICT-technologies in Finland
Tuomo Nikulainen and
No 1208, Discussion Papers from The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy
General purpose technologies (GPT) have a significant impact on economic activity through radical technological change and wide technological diffusion. This paper aims to address the generality of technologies associated with the GPT concept. Information and communications technologies (ICT), biotechnology and nanotechnology are viewed as existing or potential general purpose technologies, but there is a lack of empirical evidence of their generality. This paper addresses the argument by using patent, industry and company level data from Finland. The results provide evidence that ICT, as expected, is a GPT. Nanotechnology shows signs of being potentially widely applicable, but for biotechnology the channels of technological diffusion seem to be fewer and more focused on areas where Finnish companies are less active. The results and discussion are also reflected on the newly formed innovation policy instrument in Finland - SHOKs (Strategic centres for science, technology and innovation), which aim to direct a large share of the Finnish public R&D subsidies towards more demand-based and incumbent-driven innovation activity.
Keywords: general purpose technology; technology diffusion; science-based technology; ICT; biotechnology; nanotechnology; SHOK (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O30 O33 O38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-ict, nep-ino, nep-ipr and nep-pr~
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:rif:dpaper:1208
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
The price is 10€.
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Discussion Papers from The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Kaija Hyvönen-Rajecki ().