Investigating the lateral migration of technology in a resource-based economy: conceptual and methodological issues from a study of the Australian mining sector
'Lateral migration' refers to the application of technologies in a different sector and context from that in which they were originally developed (Pogue and Rampa, 2006). Lorentzen and Pogue (2009) and Jourdan (2010) have proposed that this is most likely to occur when there is: a significant market demand from local producers; local opportunity to test and commission new technologies; a cluster of firms that can support each other and cross fertilize ideas; and a strong base of R&D. In order to investigate these propositions a robust methodology is needed to identify the pathways along which such technology migration occurs and the ways it is facilitated or inhibited. This paper reports on a conceptual and methodological approach to investigate lateral migration of technology from the mining and energy sector in Australia. First, an econometric analysis is used to measure the extent of lateral migration of mining and energy technologies using patent, trade and input-output data sets to provide a quantitative account of which technologies are more successful than others in migrating into other sectors. Second we use a case study approach to investigate the processes that inhibit or facilitate lateral migration.