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Analyzing the UK Wave Energy Sector using SNA as a Key Functionality Indicator

Date: October 15, 2013 at 16:01 GMT

Abstract: The UK wave energy sector has received various criticisms relating to a lack of collaboration and linkage between academia and industry over the past decade. Despite a large overall increase in financing and a significant rise in research, there seems to be a misalignment between this academic work and the needs of emerging device developers as best use is not being made of the results from current academic research. 

This paper investigates a methodology for exploring and quantifying this disparity based upon Bergek’s Technological Innovation System model and a novel approach to quantifying levels of knowledge flows within the sector incorporating social network analysis (SNA). Through SNA (and qualitative interviews) it is hoped that more robust measures of emergent system functionality can be obtained including an indicator for the influence on the direction of search pertaining to the sectors internal technical search heuristics, overall knowledge development and diffusion, and general sector formation and structure. It is also hoped that social capital analysis can be used to provide insight into the levels of collaboration occurring.

Through the various analytical methods, a more confident understanding of functionalities could be created allowing policy makers to assess the sector and create normative policies to help rectify functionality imbalances. 

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