Macquarie University
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The technological innovation capabilities in Asian latecomers: patenting evidence from the solar photovoltaic industries of Taiwan, Korea, and China

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posted on 2022-03-28, 23:46 authored by Ching-Yan Wu
This Thesis builds on work previously undertaken by scholars in industries such as semiconductors and flat panel displays to investigate innovation performance and knowledge flows as these industries diffuse from advanced countries (US, Japan and Europe) to catch-up follower countries (Taiwan, Korea and China). The aim is to investigate the emergent solar photovoltaic industry by updating and applying the arguments developed in the earlier studies. The solar photovoltaic industry is of particular interest in that its exploitation is poised between first generation crystalline silicon technologies and the newer technologies based on thin films and organic compounds. This study is distinctive in that it exploits two patent datasets for solar PV technologies, from the US Patent and Trademark Office and from the Europe Patent Office; it approaches these datasets in two stages, singling out three generations of technology and four technology platforms underpinning the evolving knowledge flows and innovative technological capabilities of the solar photovoltaic industry in the Asian latecomers. A set of stylized facts is identified and used to frame the research contribution of this Thesis. The main results demonstrate that the knowledge sources for building innovation capabilities in the three latecomer countries are gradually shifting from a principal reliance on exogenous technological forerunners (US, Japan et al.) towards a greater dependence on indigenous knowledge and internalization capability, while accommodating to diverse national innovation systems. This illustrates the latecomers’ transition and transformation from imitators to innovators in the setting of the global solar photovoltaic industry. Clear policy implications for other latecomer countries and future research are also elaborated.


Alternative Title

The technological innovation capabilities in Asian latecomers

Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. The global solar photovoltaic industry -- 3. Literature review and research propositions -- 4. Data, measures, and methodology -- 5. Empirical results -- 6. Discussion -- 7. Conclusions and matters for further research -- Appendices


"09/April/2013 This thesis is presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy" Includes bibliographical references

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM)

Department, Centre or School

Macquarie Graduate School of Management

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

John A. Mathews


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Ching-Yan Wu 2013.




1 online resources (xxvi, 317 pages) illustrations (many colour)

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mq:31151 2169804