The Network Structure of Technological Developments; Technological Distance as a Walk on the Technology Map

Research Area: Internationalisation de la R D Year: 2012
Type of Publication: In Proceedings
  • Antoine Schoen
  • Lionel Villard
  • Patricia Laurens
  • Jean-Philippe Cointet
  • Gaston Heimeriks
  • Floortje Alkemade
Book title: STI Conference Number: 17
Series: International Conference on Science and Technology Indicators Pages: 734-742
Address: Montréal, Canada
This paper presents a global map of technology that characterises the proximity and dependency of technological areas. It addresses the structure of technological output embodied in the network connecting patents to the patent classifications that they are attributed to. The distance between areas of technology is based on the analysis of the co-occurrence of IPC codes assigned to individual patent documents. As our classification of technologies we use an extended version of the WIPO classification of technological fields, unfolding the 35 classes to 389. The global map allows to ‘overlay’ patents produced by a specific organisation or country against the background of a stable representation of global technological invention and to produce comparisons that are visually attractive, very readable, and potentially useful for policy-making and strategic management. As an illustration, the technological portfolios of two large industrial corporations (IBM and BASF) are projected on this global map of technology, highlighting the technological profile of these groups. As such, the map can provide valuable information about promising areas of further technological development, comparative advantages and missing technological competences.