NEWS: The Richard R. Nelson Prize for 2015 has been awarded to Professor Kira R. Fabrizio for her article, “Absorptive Capacity and the Search for Innovation,” Research Policy, 38 (2009). The Prize was formally conferred at a ceremony on May 13, 2015 at the Claremont Hotel. Click here for more information about the winning article and the event.
The Richard R. Nelson Prize is awarded every two years for the best article, alternatively, in the academic journals Industrial and Corporate Change (Oxford University Press) and Research Policy (Sage). Representatives from the head Editors of both journals act as judges for the best article with a tilt toward younger scholars. At the present time the award includes a prize of $3,000 and all expenses toward attending the Nelson Award Prize Dinner to be held at the University of California, Berkeley. The choice of journals reflects Professor Richard R. Nelson’s favorites in the scholarly fields to which he has made major contributions.
Previous winners include:
2005: Olav Sorenson and Lee Fleming, “Science and Diffusion of Knowledge,” Research Policy, 33 (2004)
2007: Daniel Beunza and David Stark, “Tools of the Trade: The Socio-Technology of Arbitrage in a Wall Street Trading Room,” Industrial and Corporate Change, 13 (2004)
2009: Alfonso Gambardella, Paola Giuri, and Alessandra Luzzi, “The Market for Patents in Europe,” Research Policy, 36 (2007)
2012: Gino Cattani, “Technological Pre-Adaptation, Speciation, and Emergence of New Technologies: How Corning Invented and Developed Fiber Optics,” Industrial and Corporate Change, 15 (2006)
The Richard R. Nelson Prize for 2015
The Richard R. Nelson Prize for 2015 has been awarded to Professor Kira R. Fabrizio for her article, “Absorptive Capacity and the Search for Innovation,” Research Policy, 38 (2009). The article was selected by the Editors of Industrial and Corporate Change drawing on a list of final candidates provided by the Editors of Research Policy. The Nelson Award reflects the continuing influence of Professor Richard R. Nelson (Columbia University) on the editorial directions of both journals. The sixth Nelson Award for 2017 will go to an article in ICC chosen by Research Policy Editors from a list of candidates selected by ICC Editors.
Fabrizio’s article takes the perspective of the firms that rely on university science in their own innovation processes, focusing on pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms. The article establishes the importance of specific firm strategies for accessing and utilizing university-generated science, and has been influential for a large body of subsequent work on firm strategies for accessing knowledge outside of the organization, and the implications for innovation outcomes.
Richard R. Nelson Award Dinner
The fifth Richard R. Nelson Award Dinner was held at the Hotel Claremont, Berkeley, on May 13, 2015. Attendees included Professor Nelson himself with his wife, ICC Editors Professors David J. Teece (UC Berkeley), David C. Mowery (UC Berkeley) and his wife, Giovanni Dosi (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy), and Glenn R. Carroll (Stanford). Research Policy was represented by Professor Martin Kenney (UC Davis). Also attending were the first Nelson Award winner (2005) Professor Lee Fleming (UC Berkeley) as well as Dr. Maria Carkovic, Ms. Anita Stephens, and ICC managing editor Dr. Josef Chytry representing IBI. A special event of the night was the awarding of a lifetime certificate of honor to Professor Nelson.
Scenes from the Awards Dinner
(click photos to enlarge)
Abstract of Winning Paper
“Absorptive Capacity and the Search for Innovation” Research Policy, 38 (2009).
This paper examines the link between a firm’s absorptive capacity-building activities and the search process for innovation. We propose that the enhanced access to university research enjoyed by firms that engage in basic research and collaborate with university scientists leads to superior search for new inventions and provides advantage in terms of both the timing and quality of search outcomes. Results based on a panel data of pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms support these contentions and suggest that the two research activities are mutually beneficial, but also uncover intriguing differences that suggest differing roles of internally and externally developed knowledge.
Kira R. Fabrizio is Assistant Professor, Strategy and Innovation at the Questrom School of Business, Boston University. Fabrizio came to the Questrom School in 2011 from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She received her PhD and MA from the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and her BA from Wesleyan University. Her areas of interest involve knowledge exploitation, firm strategy, innovation, intellectual property rights, and environmental policy. In addition, she has received various awards for her scholarly work, including the Crawford Dissertation Fellowship, the Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, and in 2013, the Broderick Prize for Excellence in Research Scholarship.