Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Economics = MC2 -- A portrait of the modern physics startup: Successful companies founded by physicists often break the Silicon Valley model, according to new American Institute of Physics report

This cover of 'Physics Entrepreneurship and Innovation.'

Credit: AIP
This cover of 'Physics Entrepreneurship and Innovation.'

Credit: AIP

Abstract:
For much of the 20th century, many of the technological innovations that drove U.S. economic growth emerged from "idea factories" housed within large companies -- research units like Bell Labs or Xerox PARC that developed everything from the transistor to the computer mouse.

Economics = MC2 -- A portrait of the modern physics startup: Successful companies founded by physicists often break the Silicon Valley model, according to new American Institute of Physics report

Washington, DC | Posted on April 23rd, 2014

In recent decades, however, many large high-tech companies have eliminated in-house research programs, turning instead to startup companies as their primary source of breakthrough innovations.

"Small startups have replaced corporate research centers as the drivers of American innovation," said Orville Butler, a former historian at the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and coauthor of a new AIP report on physics startups.

The report, titled Physics Entrepreneurship and Innovation, is based on extensive interviews with 140 PhD physicists and other professionals who co-founded and work at some 91 startup companies in 14 states that were established in the last few decades. These companies are engaged in making medical devices, manufacturing tools, nanotechnology, lasers and optical devices, renewable energy technologies and other products.

There is no one winning formula for a successful physics startup, said Joe Anderson, director of AIP's Niels Bohr Library & Archives and co-author of the new report. Many physics startups can be found in the same Boston and Silicon Valley zip codes that are also hotspots for biotech and internet startups, but many are found far from the those twin poles. Instead they are clustered in regions scattered across the west coast, southern states and the Midwest -- in places where venture capital funding may not be as robust or where the particular technology transfer processes in place at one nearby large state university may dominate the business climate. But that seems to work for many companies.

"One of the deliberate things people try to do in the United States and abroad is to create another Silicon Valley, but it doesn't always work," Anderson said. "This is a different kind of phenomenon."

One of the major differences, the report found, is between the culture of the physics startup and the internet startup. While high-flying Silicon Valley execs are likely to see risk taking as something that defines them professionally if not personally, most of the physics entrepreneurs involved in the study see themselves as risk adverse -- as far apart from their internet cousins as oxford shirts are from hoodie sweats.

And unlike biotech startups, which tend to seek emerging markets by developing new drugs and devices to sell, many physics startups differ. Some do seek to sell new technologies to emerging markets but others specialize in improving existing technologies and adapting them for new uses based on a perceived market for those goods -- what the report terms "market pull" versus "technology push."

One factor that remained consistent across the United States was the negative response that entrepreneurs had to current immigration policies and the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations, which startup founders saw as hostile to American high-tech competitiveness.

Funding is one of the two most critical challenges that entrepreneurs face -- the other being the technology itself. According to one participant in the study, the funding question is always the one and only topic entrepreneurs ever discuss when they get together at meetings. Venture capitalists have become much more risk averse over the past decade, and research intensive startups typically depend, at least initially, on federal Small Business Innovation Research grants something that is much less common among Silicon Valley tech startups.

###

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No 0849616, as well as the Avenir Foundation and the American Institute of Physics. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or the other funders.

####

About American Institute of Physics
The American Institute of Physics is an organization of scientific societies in the physical sciences, representing scientists, engineers, and educators. AIP offers authoritative information, services, and expertise in physics education and student programs, science communication, government relations, career services for science and engineering professionals, statistical research in physics employment and education, industrial outreach, and the history of physics and allied fields. AIP publishes Physics Today, the most influential and closely followed magazine of the physics community, and is also home to the Society of Physics Students and the Niels Bohr Library and Archives. AIP owns AIP Publishing LLC, a scholarly publisher in the physical and related sciences.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Jason Socrates Bardi

240-535-4954

Copyright © American Institute of Physics

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

The report can be viewed online at:

Related News Press

News and information

Graphene chips are close to significant commercialization October 1st, 2014

Production of Filters for Separation of Water from Petroleum Products in Iran October 1st, 2014

Yale University and Leica Microsystems Partner to Establish Microscopy Center of Excellence: Yale Welcomes Scientists to Participate in Core Facility Opening and Super- Resolution Workshops October 20 Through 31, 2014 September 30th, 2014

Speed at its limits September 30th, 2014

Physics

Brookhaven Lab's National Synchrotron Light Source II Approved to Start Routine Operations: Milestone marks transition to exciting new chapter September 23rd, 2014

Toward optical chips: A promising light source for optoelectronic chips can be tuned to different frequencies September 19th, 2014

Elusive Quantum Transformations Found Near Absolute Zero: Brookhaven Lab and Stony Brook University researchers measured the quantum fluctuations behind a novel magnetic material's ultra-cold ferromagnetic phase transition September 15th, 2014

Excitonic Dark States Shed Light on TMDC Atomic Layers: Berkeley Lab Discovery Holds Promise for Nanoelectronic and Photonic Applications September 11th, 2014

Announcements

Graphene chips are close to significant commercialization October 1st, 2014

Production of Filters for Separation of Water from Petroleum Products in Iran October 1st, 2014

New Topical Hemostatic Agent: Neutral Self-Assembling Peptide Hydrogel September 30th, 2014

Chemical interactions between silver nanoparticles and thiols: A comparison of mercaptohexanol again September 30th, 2014

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals

Production of Filters for Separation of Water from Petroleum Products in Iran October 1st, 2014

Ad-REIC vaccine: A magic bullet for cancer treatment September 30th, 2014

New Topical Hemostatic Agent: Neutral Self-Assembling Peptide Hydrogel September 30th, 2014

Chemical interactions between silver nanoparticles and thiols: A comparison of mercaptohexanol again September 30th, 2014

Alliances/Partnerships/Distributorships

Yale University and Leica Microsystems Partner to Establish Microscopy Center of Excellence: Yale Welcomes Scientists to Participate in Core Facility Opening and Super- Resolution Workshops October 20 Through 31, 2014 September 30th, 2014

'Greener,' low-cost transistor heralds advance in flexible electronics September 24th, 2014

IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting To Celebrate 60th Anniversary as The Leading Technical Conference for Advanced Semiconductor Devices September 18th, 2014

Biosensors Get a Boost from Graphene Partnership: $5 Million Investment Supports Dozens of Jobs and Development of 300mm Fabrication Process and Wafer Transfer Facility September 18th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE