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Sustainability, Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) A participatory Integrated Assessment process was carried out to elicit the most fit-for-purpose [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle The Sustainable Role of the E-Trust in the B2C E-Commerce of Vietnam
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010291
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 6 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1675 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vietnam, as a new emerging market, especially in e-business, has been promoting its emerging e-commerce market in Southeast Asia using aggressive players such as Lazada. Nonetheless, Vietnam has strong cultural background of risk-averse attitudes, like other developing countries, thereby deferring sustainable transformation into
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Vietnam, as a new emerging market, especially in e-business, has been promoting its emerging e-commerce market in Southeast Asia using aggressive players such as Lazada. Nonetheless, Vietnam has strong cultural background of risk-averse attitudes, like other developing countries, thereby deferring sustainable transformation into the e-business revolution. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the factors leading to the sustainable performance of e-commerce businesses, because highly risk-avert attitudes still cause many problems due to low levels of trust. In this perspective of trust, this research may contribute to promoting Vietnamese online shopping trends and suggesting ways for sustainable business to achieve success in B2C e-commerce. The purpose of this research is to examine whether or not the characteristics of e-service quality (usefulness, convenience, security, responsiveness, and assurance) have a positive influence on customer loyalty, one of the sustainable success factors in this growing e-commerce industry in Asian markets. Using questionnaires and structural equation modelling, we concluded that it is crucial to promote e-trust as a vital element, because it lacks, in the short-run, an initial e-trust. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Identifying Spatiotemporal Interactions between Urbanization and Eco-Environment in the Urban Agglomeration in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010290
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
Urban agglomeration has become a crucial topic in order for the Chinese government to promote new-type urbanization in China, and its urbanization will greatly affect China’s eco-environment. Existing literature on bidirectional influence between urbanization and eco-environment from the perspective of urban agglomeration is,
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Urban agglomeration has become a crucial topic in order for the Chinese government to promote new-type urbanization in China, and its urbanization will greatly affect China’s eco-environment. Existing literature on bidirectional influence between urbanization and eco-environment from the perspective of urban agglomeration is, however, limited. This study establishes a conceptual framework to identify bidirectional relationships between urbanization and eco-environment in urban agglomerations. After evaluating urbanization level and eco-environment quality for each city in an urban agglomeration, this framework determines key interaction factors, and employs a global regression approach to quantify the coercing effects of urbanization on eco-environment and constraining effects of eco-environment on urbanization. Spatial heterogeneity of bidirectional interactions is then examined using local regression, represented by geographically weighted regression. The case study in the urban agglomeration in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River from 2000 to 2015 indicated the existence of bidirectional interactions and coercing threat that was stronger than constraining pressure in this region. The coercion that urbanization posed on the eco-environment began to vary in space significantly from 2010, whereas the constraint of eco-environment on urbanization was spatially stationary. This study will help policy-makers to develop sustainable policies to balance urban development and eco-environment conservation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Optimising Anaerobic Digestion of Manure Resources at a Regional Level
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010286
Received: 22 November 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1939 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An optimisation model was developed to give decision support on methods of managing manure resources within a region to reduce greenhouse gases and at the same time obtain economic profitability for the farmer. The model was tested by performing a case study on
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An optimisation model was developed to give decision support on methods of managing manure resources within a region to reduce greenhouse gases and at the same time obtain economic profitability for the farmer. The model was tested by performing a case study on 50 farms in one region in Norway. Based on input data on the number of cattle and pigs on each farm, and the transport distance between each farm and the nearest centralised biogas plant, the model calculates the economic profit of the farmer and the greenhouse gas emissions for three manure management alternatives: (1) no biogas production; (2) farm scale biogas production; and (3) centralised biogas production. The model could minimise the greenhouse gas emissions, maximise the profit for the farmers or a combination of the two. Results from the case study showed that both options for anaerobic digestion (farm scale and centralised biogas production) are beneficial in terms of the reduction of greenhouse gases and can be profitable for the farmers. The case study has validated the functionality and usefulness of the model. Some improvements are suggested for further development and use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle An Early Warning System for Oil Security in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010283
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
The oil system security in a country or region will affect its sustainable development ability. China’s oil security has risen to the national strategic level. It is urgent to construct an early warning indicator system to reflect the oil security level accurately, as
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The oil system security in a country or region will affect its sustainable development ability. China’s oil security has risen to the national strategic level. It is urgent to construct an early warning indicator system to reflect the oil security level accurately, as well as to diagnose and assess the oil system status effectively and put forward the corresponding proposals for ensuring oil security. An early warning indicator system of China’s oil system covering 23 sub-indicators from three aspects, i.e., resource security, market security and consumption security, was constructed using the SPSS (Statistical Product and Service Solutions) factor analysis method. It shows that China’s oil system safety level has been seriously threatened and is generally declining. However, due to the strong introduction of energy policies and increasing energy utilization technology in recent years, the increasing proportion of new energy, renewable energy and oil substitutes eases the energy security threats. In response to complex oil security issues, the Chinese government needs to strengthen macroeconomic regulation and control at the policy level continuously, increase efforts to explore resource reserves, upgrade energy conservation and emission reduction technologies, develop new alternatives for oil products, and reduce the dependence on international oil imports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Security and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability-Oriented Innovation in the Minerals Industry: An Empirical Study on the Effect of Non-Geographical Proximity Dimensions
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010282
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
Minerals mining and processing companies (hereinafter referred to as “minerals industry”) face the increasing demand for a comprehensive approach towards innovations aimed at sustainability. While the ability to learn from external sources of knowledge is at the core of this process, lack of
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Minerals mining and processing companies (hereinafter referred to as “minerals industry”) face the increasing demand for a comprehensive approach towards innovations aimed at sustainability. While the ability to learn from external sources of knowledge is at the core of this process, lack of geographical proximity and multiplicity of external sources impose challenges for mineral companies in this respect. The present study proposes that organizational, institutional and cognitive proximities could provide a platform for this industry to overcome those challenges, thereby achieving a superior innovation performance across various sustainability dimensions. Results of an analysis based on a sample of 101 mineral companies in Norway reveal that these dimensions of proximity are conducive to process, product and social innovation in different ways. More specifically, organizational proximity (diversity of non-local collaborations) and informal institutional proximity (shared cultural norms and values) spur social innovation. Furthermore, formal institutional proximity (similarity of rules and laws) and cognitive proximity (familiarity of knowledge base) support both process and product innovations. This paper provides some insights on the determinants of innovation in sustainability contexts, and contributes to the recent debate on the role of non-spatial proximity dimensions for innovation in the peripheral regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Mining, Minerals and Energy Industries)
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Open AccessArticle Eco-Efficiency Actions and Firm Growth in European SMEs
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010281
Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
This study investigates the effects of eco-efficiency actions on firm performance in terms of sales growth in an extensive sample of 11,336 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) located in 28 European countries. Our empirical results suggest that not all eco-strategies are positively related
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This study investigates the effects of eco-efficiency actions on firm performance in terms of sales growth in an extensive sample of 11,336 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) located in 28 European countries. Our empirical results suggest that not all eco-strategies are positively related to better performance, at least not in the short term. We found that European companies using renewable energies, and recycling or designing products that are easier to maintain, repair, or reuse, perform better. Those that aim to reduce water or energy pollution, however, seemed to show a negative correlation to firm growth. Our results also indicate that high investment in eco-strategies improves firm growth, particularly in new members that joined the EU from 2004 onwards. Finally, we observed a U-shaped relationship between eco-strategies and firm growth, which indicates that a greater breadth of eco-strategies is associated with better firm performance. However, few European SMEs are able to either invest heavily or undertake multiple eco-strategies, thus leaving room for policy interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Sustainable Competitive Strategies)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Index Evaluation of the Rainwater Harvesting System in Six US Urban Cities
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010280
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
This study investigated the sustainability of the rainwater harvesting system (RWHS) by analyzing six urban city sites with different rainfall statistics in the United States. We developed a new RWHS performance model by modifying a spreadsheet-based storage, treatment, and overflow runoff model (SS
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This study investigated the sustainability of the rainwater harvesting system (RWHS) by analyzing six urban city sites with different rainfall statistics in the United States. We developed a new RWHS performance model by modifying a spreadsheet-based storage, treatment, and overflow runoff model (SS STORM) and verified its performance by comparing with another analytical RWHS model. The sustainability index (SI) evaluation method was used for a reservoir system and applied to the RWHS, employing modified resilience and vulnerability evaluation methods due to the different characteristics of a reservoir and the RWHS. The performance of modified SS STORM is very similar to that of the analytical method, except in Los Angeles, which is characterized by long inter-event times and low rainfall event depths due to low annual rainfall. The sustainability indices were successfully evaluated depending on both RWHS size and water demand and vary over a wide range as annual rainfall increases. This study proposes a new RWHS performance model and sustainability index evaluation method. Further study should confirm the proposed approach in regions with widely different rainfall characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Hydrology, Water Quality and Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle Floristic Diversity and Cultural Importance in Agroforestry Systems on Small-Scale Farmer’s Livelihoods in Central Veracruz, México
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010279
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
México is a cultural and biological megadiverse country with an increased anthropogenic pressure on its tropical landscapes. The study area was the ejido “Los Ídolos”, Misantla, Central Veracruz, Mexico. The main objective of this research was to identify how the woody plant diversity
[...] Read more.
México is a cultural and biological megadiverse country with an increased anthropogenic pressure on its tropical landscapes. The study area was the ejido “Los Ídolos”, Misantla, Central Veracruz, Mexico. The main objective of this research was to identify how the woody plant diversity of agroforestry systems contributed to the cultural, economic, and subsistence security of local farmers. Five different agroforestry systems were identified: forest gardens (FG), home gardens (HG), plantation crop combination with perennial cultivates (PC), plantation crop combinations with annual cultivates (AC), and trees on pastures (TP). FG systems had the highest floristic diversity, followed by HG and TP. Interviews with farmers showed that FG, HG, and PC systems were important for maintaining cultural identity and secure subsistence needs, while PC and TP systems were important for improving the economic situation of farmers. The FG systems contained only native species, while the proportion of exotic plants differed among the other systems. Useful exotic plants were found in the HG system. This study demonstrated that agroforestry systems such as FG were not used to their full potential, despite their high diversity of useful plants. It is recommended that farmers—assisted by institutions and representatives of local product chains—conduct feasibility studies on the marketing and promotion of products derived from specific agroforestry systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecology and Forest Management)
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Open AccessArticle Total-Factor Energy Efficiency in BRI Countries: An Estimation Based on Three-Stage DEA Model
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010278
Received: 4 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is showing its great influence and leadership on the international energy cooperation. Based on the three-stage DEA model, total-factor energy efficiency (TFEE) in 35 BRI countries in 2015 was measured in this article. It shows that the
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The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is showing its great influence and leadership on the international energy cooperation. Based on the three-stage DEA model, total-factor energy efficiency (TFEE) in 35 BRI countries in 2015 was measured in this article. It shows that the three-stage DEA model could eliminate errors of environment variable and random, which made the result better than traditional DEA model. When environment variable errors and random errors were eliminated, the mean value of TFEE was declined. It demonstrated that TFEE of the whole sample group was overestimated because of external environment impacts and random errors. The TFEE indicators of high-income countries like South Korea, Singapore, Israel and Turkey are 1, which is in the efficiency frontier. The TFEE indicators of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Poland and China are over 0.8. And the indicators of Uzbekistan, Ukraine, South Africa and Bulgaria are in a low level. The potential of energy-saving and emissions reduction is great in countries with low TFEE indicators. Because of the gap in energy efficiency, it is necessary to distinguish different countries in the energy technology options, development planning and regulation in BRI countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Recycling Pig Slurry Solid Fraction Compost as a Sound Absorber
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010277
Received: 4 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this investigation was to determine the physical and acoustical properties of compacts made from composted pig slurry solid fraction (SF) in order to assess the potential to recycle this agricultural waste as a sound absorber. The compacts were obtained by
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The aim of this investigation was to determine the physical and acoustical properties of compacts made from composted pig slurry solid fraction (SF) in order to assess the potential to recycle this agricultural waste as a sound absorber. The compacts were obtained by compression. The physical parameters investigated were bulk density, durability, and particle size distribution. The acoustical features of the compacts were studied with an impedance tube device in order to verify the acoustic absorption coefficient. Two composts were prepared: pig SF compost without a bulking agent (SSFC) and pig SF compost with wood chips as a bulking agent (WCC). The study’s results indicated that compost particles dimension played a key role in the physical and acoustical properties of the compacts: the smaller the particles, the higher the physical and acoustical properties of the compacts. The densification process increased the bulk density of the investigated composts up to 690 kg m−3 for SSFC and 660 kg m−3 for WWC, with, respectively, medium (77.9%) and low (66.5%) durability. The addition of woody bulking agent significantly reduced the absorption coefficient: the best results, in terms of potential use as a sound absorber, were observed for compacts made from composted pig slurry solid fraction without the addition of wood chips. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Supply Chain Management and Business Sustainability Synergy: A Theoretical and Integrated Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010275
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 14 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (484 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Global business organizations face the challenges of adapting proper sustainability strategies and practices to effectively respond to social, ethical, environmental, and governance issues while improving financial performance in creating value for their shareholders. Business sustainability enables the integration of financial economic sustainability performance
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Global business organizations face the challenges of adapting proper sustainability strategies and practices to effectively respond to social, ethical, environmental, and governance issues while improving financial performance in creating value for their shareholders. Business sustainability enables the integration of financial economic sustainability performance and non-financial environmental, social, ethical, and governance sustainability performance dimensions into the corporate culture, supply chain management and business models in creating shared value for all stakeholders. Business literature has provided mixed evidence of the tension, and possible link, between financial and non-financial sustainability performance dimensions and sustainability theories have yet to sufficiently address this tension. This paper attempts to fill this void by shedding light on the link between various dimensions of sustainability performance, their integrated effect on creating shared value for all stakeholders and their implications for supply chain sustainability. This paper examines the synergy between business sustainability and supply chain management by presenting a framework consisting of sustainability theories, sustainability performance dimensions, sustainability shared value concept, and sustainability best practices. Companies can use the suggested framework in integrating both financial and non-financial sustainability initiatives into their supply chain sustainability from production design, purchasing and inbound logistics, and manufacturing process to distribution and outbound logistics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Pedestrian Comfort with Wind Chill during Winter
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010274
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
Two types of methods are used to evaluate pedestrian comfort: pedestrian wind comfort and outdoor thermal comfort. To accurately ascertain the outdoor wind environment, wind speed is the only parameter considered. However, pedestrians may still feel discomfort when the perceived temperature is low,
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Two types of methods are used to evaluate pedestrian comfort: pedestrian wind comfort and outdoor thermal comfort. To accurately ascertain the outdoor wind environment, wind speed is the only parameter considered. However, pedestrians may still feel discomfort when the perceived temperature is low, even though the wind comfort criterion has been satisfactorily fulfilled. The purpose of this study is, therefore, to investigate pedestrian comfort when the perceived temperature is low, especially in winter conditions. To achieve this, a pedestrian survey was conducted, and 588 respondents completed a questionnaire. The results show that pedestrians feel discomfort when the WCET (Wind Chill Equivalent Temperature) is low, with almost 40 percent of respondents answering that they feel discomfort in these conditions. In conclusion, the threshold wind speed of the winter season could be determined to be lower than that of the existing comfort criteria by applying the WCET. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Built Environment)
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Open AccessArticle Eco-Approach and Departure System for Left-Turn Vehicles at a Fixed-Time Signalized Intersection
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010273
Received: 3 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
This research proposed an eco-approach and departure system for left-turn vehicles at a fixed-time signalized intersection. This system gives higher priority to enhancing traffic safety than improving mobility and fuel efficiency, and optimizes the entire traffic consisted of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs)
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This research proposed an eco-approach and departure system for left-turn vehicles at a fixed-time signalized intersection. This system gives higher priority to enhancing traffic safety than improving mobility and fuel efficiency, and optimizes the entire traffic consisted of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) and conventional human-driven vehicles by providing ecological speed trajectories for left-turn CAVs. All the ecological speed trajectories are offline optimized before the implementation of system. The speed trajectory optimization is constructed in Pontryagin’s Minimum Principle structure. The before and after evaluation of the proposed system shows the percentage of vehicles that drive pass the intersection at safe speed increases by 2.14% to 45.65%, fuel consumption benefits range 0.53% to 18.44%, emission benefits range from 0.57% to 15.69%, no significant throughput benefits is observed. The proposed system significantly enhances the traffic safety and improves the fuel efficiency and emission reduction of left-turn vehicles with no adverse effect on mobility, and has a good robustness against the randomness of traffic. The investigation also indicates that the computation time of proposed system is greatly reduced compared to previous eco-driving system with online speed optimization. The computation time is up to 0.01 s. The proposed system is ready for real-time application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Implementing Traceability Systems in Specific Supply Chain Management (SCM) through Critical Success Factors (CSFs)
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010204
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
Traceability plays a vital role in the success of Halal Supply Chain (HSC). HSC revolve around the essential dimension of Halal Integrity (HI), whereas traceability is seemed to be medium to assure integrity. Thus, a need is felt to identify the factors which
[...] Read more.
Traceability plays a vital role in the success of Halal Supply Chain (HSC). HSC revolve around the essential dimension of Halal Integrity (HI), whereas traceability is seemed to be medium to assure integrity. Thus, a need is felt to identify the factors which are critical to the successful implementation of traceability in Halal Supply Chain Management (HSCM). Identified Twelve Critical Success Factors (CSFs) through an extensive review of literature and opinion of experts. Further, a contextual relationship among the CSFs is developed using Total Interpretive Structure Modelling (TISM) approach and derived a model. The structural model is analyzed using Fuzzy MICMAC (Matrice d’Impacts Croises-Multipication Applique and Classment-cross-impact matrix multiplication applied to classification) approach to identify the importance of CSFs by driving and dependence power. The primary result indicates towards; that improving the HSCM with the higher level of Halal awareness. Assuring HI will enhance the consumer satisfaction which leads to a competitive advantage for the organization. Academic researchers, industrial practitioners and Supply Chain executives can understand the complex interrelationship of CSFs by visualizing the TISM. It can help the management, lobbies and government to develop the policies regarding the implementation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Technological Collaboration Characteristics of the Global Integrated Circuit Manufacturing Industry
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010196
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 2 January 2018 / Accepted: 11 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2322 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the intensification of international competition, there are many international technological collaborations in the integrated circuit manufacturing (ICM) industry. The importance of improving the level of international technological collaboration is becoming more and more prominent. Therefore, it is vital for a country, a
[...] Read more.
With the intensification of international competition, there are many international technological collaborations in the integrated circuit manufacturing (ICM) industry. The importance of improving the level of international technological collaboration is becoming more and more prominent. Therefore, it is vital for a country, a region, or an institution to understand the international technological collaboration characteristics of the ICM industry and, thus, to know how to enhance its own international technological collaboration. This paper depicts the international technological collaboration characteristics of the ICM industry based on patent analysis. Four aspects, which include collaboration patterns, collaboration networks, collaboration institutions, and collaboration impacts, are analyzed by utilizing patent association analysis and social network analysis. The findings include the following: first, in regard to international technological collaboration, the USA has the highest level, while Germany has great potential for future development; second, Asia and Europe have already formed clusters, respectively, in the cooperative network; last, but not least, research institutions, colleges, and universities should also actively participate in international collaboration. In general, this study provides an objective reference for policy making, competitiveness, and sustainability in the ICM industry. The framework presented in this paper could be applied to examine other industrial international technological collaborations. Full article
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