Simulating Innovation

Simulating Innovation

Computer-based Tools for Rethinking Innovation

Christopher Watts and Nigel Gilbert

Christopher Watts and Nigel Gilbert explore the generation, diffusion and impact of innovations, which can now be studied using computer simulations.

Chapter 5: Science models

Christopher Watts and Nigel Gilbert

Subjects: business and management, organisational innovation, economics and finance, economics of innovation, evolutionary economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, organisational innovation, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory


Simulation models of science are an excellent basis for studying innovation processes. There are a number of reasons for this. First, science exemplifies innovation as a social and collaborative process. Not only are scientific advances the product of teams of researchers in laboratories, workshops, libraries and in the field, but also contributions build upon the past work of other scientists, ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’, as Newton once put it, but also on the shoulders of vast numbers of more modestly talented workers. Second, much scientific work leaves data trails, through which we can seek to trace its processes. The data includes the existence of institutions, such as industrial laboratories, universities and research centres, but the two most useful sources of data are academic publications and patents. Both publication and patent data can record multiple authors, indicating who collaborated with whom, and citations to previous publications or patents, indicating intellectual debts.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information