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Technology Adoption Indicators Applied to the ATP Flow Control Machining Project



M H. Brown, M A. Ehlen


This report introduces technology adoption indicators (TAIs) that can be used to assess whether particular industries are likely to adopt new technologies. The TAIs are measures of industry concentration, patents, research joint ventures, public policy, and history of technology adoption. Each TAI is supported by economic theory and confirmed by empirical studies. The TAIs are applied to an analysis of whether a particular ATP-funded flow-control machining (FCM) technology might be adopted by two industries: lawnmower engine manufacturers and airplane engine manufacturers. By broadly defined TAI measures, lawnmower manufacturers are more likely than airplane engine manufacturers to adopt FCM. Using precise, narrowly defined data on the lawnmower engine industry, we confirmed that adoption of FCM by lawnmower manufacturers is likely, due partly to the structure of the lawnmower engine industry but more so to the regulatory environment. New EPA regulations require emissions-improving changes to most lawnmower engines currently available in the marketplace. FCM is an alternative to conventional emissions-improving technologies. We compare the cost of FCM with the cost of the conventional technology for reducing engine emissions, in four lawnmower engine market segments, small side-valve (SV) engines, small overhead-valve (OHV) engines, large side-valve engines, and large overhead-valve engines. For large SV engines, the cost advantage of the FCM technology is significant. For small SV engines, the FCM technology has a modest cost advantage. We then use a dynamic macroeconomic model to compare the economic impacts of the FCM cost and the conventional technology cost for each market segment. For large SV engines, the FCM technology is definitely preferred because the savings are substantial. Using FCM on large SV engines saves $982 million in GDP. For small SV engines, the use of FCM saves $261 million in GDP.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6888
Report Number


flow control machining, industry concentration, joint ventures, patents, small engines, technology adoption


Brown, M. and Ehlen, M. (2003), Technology Adoption Indicators Applied to the ATP Flow Control Machining Project, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created May 1, 2003, Updated February 19, 2017