Complementarity formation mechanisms in technology value chains

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Tuukka Mäkitie
  • Jens Hanson
  • Markus Steen
  • Hansen, Teis
  • Allan Dahl Andersen

Recent literature has begun to discuss complementarities between sectors and technologies in the context of sustainability transitions. This paper contributes to this literature by theorizing complementarity formation mechanisms underlying such positive interactions within and across technology value chains. It pursues empirically founded theory building based on a case study of innovation in battery-electric, hydrogen and liquefied biogas technologies in Norwegian coastal shipping. Three complementarity formation mechanisms in technology value chains are identified: synchronization, amplification, and integration. Synchronization points to the need for co-development between the input and user sectors of a technology value chain. Amplification refers to the necessary expansion of input sectors to match the growing demand in user sectors. Finally, integration highlights the potential of convergence between different technology value chains in one or more user sectors. The paper concludes with a discussion of how policy may leverage such complementarity formation mechanisms to foster innovation in zero‑carbon technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104559
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number7
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: this work was supported by the Research Council of Norway : grant numbers 268166 , 296205 and 295021 . The authors would like to thank the editors and the three anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback, and the research team in Greening the Fleet-project for their contributions in data collection.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Coastal shipping, Complementarities, Decarbonization, Sustainability transitions, Technology value chain, Zero‑carbon innovation

ID: 325371463