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Technology and Society

University-Industry Interaction and Collaboration in Nanotechnology: An Ethnographic Investigation


The project examines the brokering of collaborations and university-industry interactions around nanotechnologies. The collaboration is an important component of nano science and engineering as well as other emerging research endeavors, manifesting itself as a matter of ongoing concern in everyday scientific and business practices and in various policy, accountability and funding mechanisms. However, few studies have closely followed the dynamic processes through which collaborations are formed, managed, and develop over time. Neither the formation nor application of evaluative criteria have been studied either. As a result, the extant literature does not provide an adequate understanding of the often subtle processes of negotiation that shape university-industry collaborations and of their assessments. Social research on emerging and established collaborations offers an opportunity to significantly advance our understanding of these critical dynamics. The project carries out an in-depth study using ethnographic methods of several university-industry collaborations.


Stephen Hilgartner, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University
Trevor Pinch, Professor, Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University
Jurriaan Gerretsen, Associate Director, Center for Nanoscale Systems, Cornell University

Post Doctoral Associate:

Elena Simakova , Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University



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