New Evidence in Technology Scaling Dynamics and the Role of the Formative Phase

Bento N (2013). New Evidence in Technology Scaling Dynamics and the Role of the Formative Phase. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-13-004

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Abstract

This paper presents the latest update for historical scaling dynamics research including new technoloies such as general purpose technologies (e.g., steam engines) and small end-use technologies (e.g.,cellphones, e-bikes). Scaling refers to technology growth that is rapid and extensive, occurring at different levels, both unit and industry. It also studies the importance of the formative phase in the historical diffusion of energy technologies. So, what are the characteristics of the formative phase in the case of fast and intense adoptions? What is the infuence of the formative phase in the overall diffusion? Empirical analysis uses logistic models to exlore the growth of energy technologies observed historically. The formative phase is defined here as the early stage of diffusion before technology up-scales at unit level; the operational critera adoped is that formative phase ends when diffusion reaches 10% of cumulative total unit numbers. The hisorical evidence confirms that larger transitions require more time for experimentation and maturation in the formative periods, especially in the case of complex innovations with high infrastrcture needs. In addition, small size technologies with high turnover rates present the fastest diffusion. Moreresearch is needed to refine the definition of the moment when the technology completes the formativ phase and acquires enough maturity to pass on to mass-commercialization.

KEYWRODS: technological change; innovation; economies of scale; logistic growth; formative phases

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: Transitions to New Technologies (TNT)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:50
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2016 06:12
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/10752

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