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LBJ School Professor Kenneth Flamm to Present White Paper at "The Science of Science Measurement Workshop" in Washington, D.C.

Kenneth FlammAUSTIN, Texas-- December 1, 2010-- LBJ School Professor Kenneth Flamm is one of a small group of top researchers invited by the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation to provide a non-technical summary of recent research relevant to U.S. science policy practitioners at a workshop being held in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 2 and 3.

The objective of the workshop is to help U.S. federal agencies better define and manage their federally funded research and development programs in a more scientific manner, capitalizing on recent academic research into the impact and effectiveness of federal investments in innovation. Flamm will discuss recent research on the mechanisms producing economic benefits from technological innovation in microelectronics, reviewing recently published work in this area.

He suggests in his review that "structural" models of technical innovation that investigate the specific mechanisms through which technical advances lower costs or improve products are more likely to be useful in forecasting future economic impacts from specific technology investment proposals than so-called "black box" models, which tease out statistical correlations between measured technology project characteristics and average return across a large sample of projects. He also suggests that the global semiconductor industry's apparent success in substantially increasing its rate of manufacturing technology improvement through a technology "roadmapping" process is worth exploring in other sectors, like energy, that are faced with large-scale, complex technology development problems involving multiple firms and a need to coordinate innovations among a wide variety of high tech materials and equipment suppliers.

For an agenda and links to the commissioned white papers, including Flamm's work, visit:  http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/sosp/ .

The OSTP Science of Science Measurement workshop will be webcast live this Thursday and Friday.

For Thursday, Dec. 2, visit: http://www.visualwebcaster.com/SOSMday1.

 

Flamm, an expert on the economics of trade and investment in high technology industries, has published extensively on the economics of the semiconductor, computer, and telecommunications industries. He has worked closely with the semiconductor industry's SEMATECH research consortium in building economic models describing the impact of technological innovation on industrial competition in that industry. In early November, Flamm gave a presentation to semiconductor industry engineers and technical managers titled "How Does the Timing of Technical Innovation Affect Semiconductor Manufacturing Profitability" at the International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative's Symposium on Manufacturing Effectiveness, in Austin, Texas.   A short version of this presentation was published under the title"The Impact of DRAM Design Innovation on Manufacturing Profitability," in FUTURE FAB INTERNATIONAL, Vol. 35, November 2010, available at http://www.future-fab.com/toc.asp .