Path-dependencies faced by select policies toward solid-state lighting
Smith, Alexander M.
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The studies in this dissertation – concerning inter-firm R&D collaboration, patent production and sharing, and electric power infrastructure – will illustrate the influence of path-dependency on outcomes delivered by policies stimulating innovation in the lighting sector. This dissertation will build upon prior findings in path-dependency studies by applying path-dependency to distinct policies: collaboration-enhancing policies, patent licensing requirements, and lighting subsidies paired with emissions regulations. In doing so, the studies will highlight the social factors that influence lighting innovation. Just as the dominance of the electric lightbulb was not produced from a good idea alone – needing trade cartels and patent attorneys to achieve just its initial growth – so too do contemporary ideas for changing the way we illuminate the world rely on resources far greater than new technology ideas alone. In highlighting factors that frustrate the aims of contemporary innovation policies towards lighting, this dissertation aims to inform the design of future innovation policies such that future policies may account for influential factors and design strategies that nullify or take advantage of such factors to enact change.