With so much graphene research going on in a multitude of industries, it’s hard to keep track. But Jan Youtie, a social scientist and principal research associate at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, along with her colleague Philip Shapira, professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy and the University of Manchester, are doing just that.
The researchers use a process called “real-time technology assessment” (RTTA) to understand the social, moral, political and economic dynamics of the nanotechnology industry, including graphene. To do this, they collect all patent applications and every scientific paper covering graphene into a database.
“Graphene has experienced a steep trajectory in terms of research output and discoveries,” Youtie said. “This trajectory is even earlier and steeper than we have seen with respect to other nanotechnologies.”
Youtie and Shapira’s research is funded by NSF through the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU), which unifies research programs across several universities. They have discovered that Atlanta, where Georgia Tech is located, is one of the leading nodes of graphene research in the world, based on total number of publications.
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