The Challenge of Hydrogen and Fuel Cells
Edited by Stefano Pogutz, Angeloantonio Russo and Paolo Migliavacca
Chapter 11: Market Coordination and Network Effects: The Case of the European Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform
Stian Nygaard and Annika Rickne INTRODUCTION This chapter explores how technologies and industries that benefit from typical network externalities can be efficiently commercialized by means of such organizational assets as Technology Platforms. ‘Network externalities’ denotes the increase in the benefits of a specific technology or product when the number of other users increases (Katz and Shapiro, 1985; Liebowitz and Margolis, 1998). Where the influence of networks externalities is significant, complementary technologies are necessary and market coordination becomes more complex. The benefits of a network thus depend on coordination between those who work with the inter-related technologies. The need to commercialize such technologies in the formative phase drives the actors – including firms, research organizations, financiers, and policy makers – to stabilize surrounding conditions, thereby enabling growth. The complexity of commercializing technology in given political and market milieux requires policy makers as well as industrial actors, and industry–government cooperation as well as inter-firm cooperation. In Europe, an innovation strategy based on cooperation between the private and public sectors is being formulated, along with the concept of Technology Platforms, a new way of organizing innovation activities that encompasses a variety of emerging technologies (CEC, 2004). Since innovation in Europe involves national, regional and sectorial perspectives, the Technology Platform must promote coherence among the strategies by synthesizing the perspectives of all the stakeholders involved in the development and commercialization of a given technology. This chapter will discuss how Technology Platforms have been organized, structured, and applied to fuel cell and hydrogen technologies in Europe....
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