graphic element

Big science organisations' (BSO) impacts on economic growth and technological progress

Wednesday 12 Jun 24
Despite the substantial investments in BSOs and their importance in scientific and technological advancements, there is limited understanding of their unique roles in fostering innovation, facilitating knowledge spillover, and enhancing human capital development in industry. 

Erika Susan Dietrichson's PhD project "Innovation impact of big science organisations - Conditions, interactions, and knowledge spillover" aims to address the knowledge gap described above.

In connection with her forthcoming defence of her PhD project, Erika has given us a sneak peak of her findings.

Erika's dissertation examines the pivotal role of big science organizations (BSOs) in transforming science-industry collaborations. It explores how BSOs, distinct from universities as scientific actors, drive innovation and technology advancements through their unique structures and interactions with industry. By analyzing their contributions to human capital development and knowledge spillover, this research aims to shed light on BSOs' significant impacts on economic growth and technological progress.

Main findings of this research

  • BSOs operate differently from traditional university-industry collaborations, focusing more on larger-scale, more technically advanced, and sometimes longer-term research, unlocking the potential for a broader impact on industry innovation.
  • Human capital developed through cross-sectoral mobility enhances the productivity of BSO scientists, influencing the possibilities of knowledge spillover to industry.
  • Collaborations between BSOs and industrial firms lead to significant knowledge spillover, influencing innovation and economic performance positively.

Benefits of this research for scholars, managers, entrepreneurs and policy makers 

For scholars, this research provides a new theoretical framework to understand the dynamics of science-industry collaborations involving BSOs.Managers and entrepreneurs can gain insights into optimizing interactions with BSOs for enhanced innovation and productivity. Policymakers can use the findings to craft policies that leverage BSOs effectively to boost national and international competitiveness and innovation-led economic growth.


By highlighting the unique capabilities and impacts of BSOs, this research paves the way for future studies and policies that further integrate these organizations into national and international innovation strategies. It proposes that enhancing collaborations with BSOs could significantly contribute to advancing global scientific capabilities, industrial innovation, and economic development, suggesting a shift in how we perceive and utilize these powerhouses of innovation and research within the broader knowledge economy.

PhD defence

Erika Susan Dietrichson will defend her PhD project on 24 June 2024.

See location, summary and other details of Erika's defence here
Reach out to Erika on LinkedIn

About research at DTU Entrepreneurship in general

We focus on evidence-based research to tackle a wide range of issues and provide opportunities for social and economic change.

Do you want to explore more about research at DTU Entrepreneurship

Reach out to Professor, Head of Research, Jason Li-Ying

Research areas