Description: Over the past decade, Oak Ridge National Laboratory has conducted four evaluations of the economic impacts of the US DOE's Energy-Related Inventions Program (ERIP). None of these evaluations has involved the use of a comparison group. Instead, statistics on the innovation process have been compiled from a review of the literature. Unfortunately, the types of technologies and inventors documents by previous studies do not match those supported by the Energy-Related Inventions Program. ERIP-supported technologies are diverse in both application and technical complexity. ERIP-supported inventors are a particular subset of inventors: the Program targets inventors who are either independently employed or are employees of a small business. The purpose of this task is to identify and characterize a matched comparison group of inventors whose progress can be compared with the progress of ERIP inventors. With this comparison group, we will be able to assess more accurately the impact of the ERIP support and thereby strengthen the program's impact evaluations. This report is divided into six sections. As background to understanding the comparison group design and the results provided in this report, section 1.3 provides an overview of the Energy-Related Inventions Program. Section 2 describes the research design used to define and characterize a suitable comparison group. Section 3 presents comparative statistics describing both the comparison group and the ERIP technologies. Section 4 is more qualitative in nature; it describes four technologies in the comparison group that were commercially successful, focusing on how they succeeded in the absence of DOE/ERIP support. The report ends with a summary of its findings (section 5) and a list of references (section 6).
Date: June 1, 1993
Creator: Brown, M.A.; Curlee, T.R.; Elliott, S.R. & Franchuk, C.A.
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