Chapter 7: Standards and expansion paths in high-tech industries
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Standards are a ubiquitous technical infrastructure in high-tech industries. They affect the efficiency of all three stages of technology-based economic activity: research and development, production, and market development. Such activity produces complex knowledge-intensive products and services, which require: (1) accurate characterization of advanced materials that make up today’s state-of-the-art technologies in order to enable efficient product technology development; (2) process control to assure high quality and yield during the production stage; and (3) sophisticated measurement and testing standards to assure buyers of both component and system performance. To achieve these ends, standards must be a critical part of the technology infrastructure supporting high-tech industries. This chapter describes the economic roles of the different types of standards and their collective effect on a technology’s expansion path.

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