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Max Boisot

Professor of Strategic Management, Esade Business School, Ramon Llull University

Do Spillovers or Dynamic Capabilities Drive Economic Growth? A Big Science Perspective (with Agusti Canals, Martin Ihrig, Markus Nordberg, Christopher Mabey)

Our analysis of data capture and distribution in ATLAS challenges the learning and spillover assumptions on which endogenous growth theory has built its analysis. Our description of how the data created by collisions in the LHC is structured, diffused, and subsequently absorbed to create new knowledge, makes it doubtful that learning-by-doing necessarily transforms rivalrous into non-rivalrous knowledge over time. Furthermore, new rivalrous knowledge is constantly being created out of non-rival and non-excludable knowledge that has been diffused. The systemic coupling of non-rivalrous, partially excludable knowledge with rivalrous knowledge in the ATLAS Collaboration might help to explain the difficulties so often experienced by big science in converting the knowledge it generates into commercial applications. Institutionalizing the creation of absorptive capacity would begin to address the problem and leverage the value of big science to those best placed to use it.