Graphene Enterprise: Mapping Innovation and Business Development in a Strategic Emerging Technology

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This paper explores enterprise development and commercialization in the field of graphene. Firm characteristics and relationships, value chain positioning, and factors associated with product entry are examines for a set of 65 graphene-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises located in 16 different countries. As well as secondary sources and bibliometric methods to profile developments in graphene, we use computerized data mining and analytical techniques, including cluster and regression modeling, to identify patterns from publicly available online information on enterprise web sites. We identify groups of graphene small and medium-sized enterprises differentiated by how they are involved with graphene, the materials they target, whether they make equipment, and their orientation towards science and intellectual property. In general, access to finance and the firms’ location are significant factors that are associated with graphene product introductions. We also find that patents and scientific publications are not statistically significant predictors of product development in our sample of graphene enterprises. We further identify a cohort of graphene-oriented firms that are signaling plans to develop intermediate graphene products that should have higher value in the marketplace. Our findings suggest that policy needs to ensure attention to the introduction and scale-up of downstream intermediate and final graphene products and associated financial, intermediary, and market identification support. The paper demonstrates novel data methods that can be combined with existing information for real-time intelligence to understand and map enterprise development and commercialization in a rapidly emerging and growing new technology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number269
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number9
Early online date6 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016


  • Graphene
  • Web content mining
  • Enterprise development
  • Commercialization

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute of Innovation Research


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