The objective of this project is to investigate the role of publicly funded research in the development of critical technologies such as those included telecommunication standards. The economic literature on standardization has so far characterized technical standards as voluntary agreements among private parties. Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence suggests that government-sponsored research had a pivotal role in the development of key technologies that now form parts of established technical standards. Yet, robust empirical evidence is missing. This project aims at filling this gap in the literature. We rely on patent data to trace the link between public investment in knowledge production and new inventions. Patents declared as essential to technical standards (SEPs) offer a unique opportunity to identify technological innovations of demonstrated commercial success and pervasive application. The project i) creates a novel dataset linking declared-SEPs to different sources of government contribution; ii) implements an econometric study investigating the importance of government funding for SEPs; iii) investigates the contribution of technologies that build on government-sponsored research for the development of technical standards.

The objective of the project is to explore how public investment in science and technology translates into technological applications that have commercial value. To achieve this goal, the project will link the output of U.S. federal research grants (patented technologies and published research papers that acknowledge government funding) to final products available on the marketplace. The project will be conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Health.

The project aims to provide sound quantitative evidence on the importance of innovative public procurement in stimulating innovations that are valuable for firms as well as for society as a whole. The research design will combine data on public procurement contracts and patent data from offline and online administrative sources and will use state-of-the-art econometric techniques. Results will help policymakers to tailor effective technology policies and to maximize the innovative return to public investment.