NWB2023_Universities accelerate the use of knowledge in technological development for patenting.pptx (1.72 MB)

NWB2023_Universities accelerate the use of knowledge in technological development for patenting

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posted on 2023-10-02, 18:49 authored by Alvin Shijie Ding, Rachel Herbert

This study aims to provide an indication of universities’ functions to knowledge utilization for technological development, by examining their roles as both the source of academic literature cited by patents (referred to as Scientific Non-Patent References, or SNPR) and in rare cases, patent applicants themselves. Specifically, we consider the differences in the engagement with the scholarly literature for patents with applicants from different sectors (academic and/or corporate). We investigate the time lag (or age) between a SNPR’s publication year and the patent filing year and the presence of the university applicant in the SNPR affiliations. We collected patent data published in EPO during 2001-2022, extracted their SNPRs and linked them with Scopus publication records. We found that patents with academic owners cited more SNPRs than those owned by corporates, and a greater volume of more recent publications. The median age of SNPRs from patents owned by corporations is approximately 40% higher than those owned by universities, and the trend remains stable in the recent 10 years. When university-owned patents cite SNPRs affiliated to their own university, we found that even more recent SNPRs were cited. If we consider SNPRs a signal of knowledge transfer, these results indicate universities’ roles in promoting faster utilization of pre-existing knowledge. We suggest that a possible reason is that universities generally have greater awareness and easier access to the scholarly literature than corporations. Our findings in this study may facilitate policies and strategies in promoting university-industry collaborations.


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