Challenging the NBIC convergence?
Converging science and technology, firm knowledge base and innovation: The case of nanotechnologies in the early 2000's by Eric Avenel, Anne-Violaine Favier, Simon Ma, Vincent Mangematin and Carole Rieu is a very interesting paper that examines nanotechnologies and its convergence potential, i.e. does it "enhance hybridisation amongst technologies"? I am not that interested in nanotech but rather by the NBIC concept given that nanosciences are considered as an emerging technology which is based on the convergence among different existing scientific fields, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive sciences (see for example this NSF report).
"Based on the worldwide database of nanofirms, the paper examines the development pattern of Nano S&T. It argues that firms integrate nanoS&T by juxtaposition of new projects around the existing ones and by hybridisation of new technologies with existing technologies within the firm. Large firms mainly follow the first path while small and specialised ones (Nanodedicated firms) develop new projects through hybridising with existing knowledge base. NanoS&T appear to be less transverse and competence enhancing than specialised and competence destroying as new competencies replace the existing ones within firm knowledge. The firm knowledge base is not the locus of the convergence as expected."
Why do I blog this? the question of the NBIC is trendy lately and this article challenges the convergence between all these fields, this is of interest to me because I am into IT and cogsci.