Tracing the Linkages Between Scientific Research and Energy Innovations: A Comparison of Clean and Dirty Technologies I E-Future Enterprise Forum

11am, Friday 11 September, 2020
online, register for link
Presented by Digital Enterprise member, Dr Rob Perrons

Abstract

Despite the urgent case for bringing new energy technologies to the marketplace, the delivery of these innovations has been frustratingly slow, often taking several decades to develop even the most promising ideas into novel technologies that achieve a significant amount of market penetration.  The pathway for delivering new energy technologies is frequently discussed in the literature in a vague and aggregated way, but innovation tends to consist of a series of partially overlapping processes consisting of: (1) the production of scientific and technological knowledge, (2) the translation of that knowledge into working technologies or artifacts, and (3) the introduction of the artifacts into the marketplace, where they are matched with users’ requirements.  However, relatively little data are available showing how long each of these processes takes for energy technologies.  Here we combine information from patent applications with bibliographic data to shine light on the second process—that is, the translation of scientific knowledge into working prototypes.  Our results show that energy technologies take an average of approximately 10 years to pass through this phase.  These findings will help policymakers to devise more effective mechanisms and strategies for accelerating the overall rate of technological change in this domain.

 

About Dr Rob Perrons

Prior to joining the Queensland University of Technology in Australia as an Associate Professor in 2011, Dr. Robert Perrons worked in a wide variety of roles and locations for Shell International’s Exploration & Production division.  He worked for several years as a production engineer in the company’s overseas operations (offshore and onshore).  He then left Shell for three years to work as an Industrial Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, but re-joined Shell again in 2004 to become the company’s Executive Coordinator of R&D. He has a B.Eng. in mechanical engineering from McMaster University in Canada, a Master’s degree in Technology & Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a PhD in engineering from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Gates Cambridge Scholar.  He is a member of the United Nations’ Resource and Energy Expert Group, and was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship.  Rob is an active member of QUT’s Centre for Digital Economy.