Asymmetric Technological Collaboration Between Large and Small Knowledge-Based Firms in Iran's Nanotechnology Sector in the Innovation Ecosystem

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Faculty Member, Institute of Presidential Technology Studies, Tehran, Iran.

2 Faculty Member, Faculty of Information Technology, Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran, Iran.


In recent years, due to significant changes in the business environment, most large and small firms have been forced to create asymmetric technological collaboration with each other. Although studies have been conducted in this area, most of them lack an ecosystem approach to identifying the actors involved in the process of collaboration and their role, as well as previous studies focusing on developed countries. Therefore, the present study seeks to explain the ecosystem of asymmetric technological collaboration between large industrial firms and small knowledge-based firms in the field of nanotechnology in Iran (as a developing country) through the case study method (8 cases). Data were collected through interviews with representatives of the parties and other stakeholders involved in the collaboration process, as well as a review of relevant documents. Data analysis (Thematic Analysis) led to the extraction of maps and key players and their roles in the asymmetric technological collaboration ecosystem. The most important contribution is explaining asymmetric technological collaboration between large and small knowledge-based firms in the innovation ecosystem, as well as identifying essential roles such as stimulator of large firms and trust builder.


Main Subjects

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Volume 10, Issue 2
Special issue for open innovation
September 2022
Pages 123-152
  • Receive Date: 09 January 2022
  • Revise Date: 14 July 2022
  • Accept Date: 16 August 2022