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Innovative S&T indicators combining patent data and surveys: Empirical models and policy analyses

Final Report Summary - INNOS&T (Innovative S&T indicators combining patent data and surveys: Empirical models and policy analyses)

The INNOS&T project developed and collected novel and systematic science and technology indicators covering Europe, Japan and the United States through extensive surveys of patent inventors and the creation of indicators based on citations to science in patents. The project also developed empirical models and policy analyses using these indicators regarding the economic use of patents, science and industry links and innovation performance, gender, education and mobility of inventors and the economic value of patents.

As far as the creation of innovative indicators was concerned we carried out the following activities:

1. surveys interviewing inventors of the European Patent Office (EPO) patents in 20 European countries, United States of America, Japan and Israel
2. construction and matching to the survey data of a large set of complementary indicators at the level of patents, inventors, companies, regions and technologies
3. creation of an extensive dataset of indicators of industry and science linkages based on the creation and validation of an algorithm for extracting more than eleven millions of scientific non patent references contained in worldwide patents for all organisation of economic cooperation and development (OECD) countries from 1990 to 2005.

In particular, INNOS&T produced the following empirical and impact analyses in four topics:

1. study of the extent and determinants of four different uses of patents, i.e. commercial use, patent sale, patent licensing and use of patents for the creation of new firms
2. creation of country profiles over time in terms of science and technology linkage indicators and analysis of the impact of our indicators of scientific intensity of technology on innovation dynamics and performance
3. analysis of the differences in wages and productivity between female and male inventors and development of a comprehensive study on the gender gap issue, taking into account factors such as the characteristics of the individuals, their productivity and working hours, the social setting in which they lived, their mobility and role within the organisation
4. study of determinants and impact of the value of patents by focusing on the inventive step of the patent and the social value of the information disclosure associated with patents.

More specifically, the INNOS&T project aimed at:

1. developing and collecting novel, systematic and more adequate science and technology indicators, and
2. developing empirical models that could contribute to improve policies on economic use of the patents, science and industry linkages and innovation performance, gender, education and mobility of inventors and, finally the economic value of patents.

The first part of the project was devoted to the construction of new indicators. More precisely, three new survey data collections were implemented and indicators for industry and science links based on patent citations were created. In addition to the two main activities of generation of new indicators, we also collected relevant complementary indicators on patents, publications, individual inventors, companies, public research institutions and universities, regions and sectors. These indicators were mainly drawn by existing datasets, but needed several important steps for the matching with the survey data, including cleaning of company names, consolidation of subsidiary to parent companies etc.

The second part of the project developed empirical models and policy analyses using innovative indicators. We identified four research topics in which new indicators and empirical models could address relevant policy issues, namely the economic use of patents, the science and industry linkages and innovation performance at countries, institutions and inventions, the gender, education, mobility and inventors' productivity and the economic value of patents. We believed that the indicators and the empirical analyses of this project represented an important step forward with respect to the current state of the art of indicators and evidence.

The other important advancement achieved in this project was the development of appropriate and effective empirical methods that enabled to simultaneously assess the impact of a variety of factors on key economic phenomena. This was possible because we developed a broad set of survey-based industry and science link and complementary indicators at the patent, the link with the scientific environment, the applicant of the patent, the inventor, the technology area of the patent, the geographic location of the invention and the characteristics of the specific country or region.

The indicators and the empirical methods and models developed in this project represented an important step forward with respect to the current state of the art of indicators and methods. The large variety of science and technology indicators covering many different aspects of the invention process at different levels of analysis and with a large geographical coverage and the employment of rigorous methodologies allowed for addressing relevant issues for which adequate indicators did not exist.

We also completed the creation of these large sets of indicators and developed empirical models and policy implications in the four topics of our project. However, the potential application of our indicators was still very extensive, since we would be able to address other relevant issues in S&T like the social and economic impact of different forms of strategic patenting, the organisation of the invention process in different types and size of organisations, the individual motivations to S&T activities, etc. Moreover, in addition to the country level results obtained in this project, we could specifically address issues related to the competitiveness of Europe, with respect to United States and Japan, and of different European countries and areas, by focusing on key sectors and technologies that were important for fostering growth and employment.

The dissemination activities conducted during this project aimed at communicating the undertaken activities and main results. They were planned to continue beyond the end of the project, through the presentation of results to various audiences and the publications of scientific articles and policy reports and documents in various contexts.

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