The Evolution of Technological Knowledge: A co-evolutionary analysis of patterns of Corporate Invention

Research Area: Internationalisation de la R D Year: 2013
Type of Publication: In Proceedings Keywords: Patents, R and D, Globalisation, Specialization, Technological Sectors
  • Gaston Heimeriks
  • Floortje Alkemade
  • Antoine Schoen
  • Lionel Villard
  • Patricia Laurens
Book title: DRUID Celebration Conference
Series: Innovation, Strategy and Entrepreneurship: Competitiveness and Dynamics of Organizations, Technologies, Systems and Geography Pages: 25
Address: Barcelona, Spain
Month: Juin
Using patent data, this paper investigates the evolutionary patterns of corporate invention between 1986 and 2005 with respect to geographical, technological and sector specific dynamics. The development of knowledge production is place dependent. In addition to continuing their technological developments in the same fields, most countries expanded their technological capabilities. The largest increase in number of technologies occurs in the EU countries, Japan and the US as well as in emerging economies such as Korea and China. A relatively flat distribution is visible the number of countries contributing to technological fields. The increase in sectoral activities is much more concentrated in the traditional Triadic countries than the increase in technological activities, with the exception of China. Sectors appear to play a defining role in corporate invention. The most globalised sectors are all related to the broader ICT industry and the automotive industry. Only modest increase is visible in the number of sectors associated with each technological field. Many ICT related fields have become more general purpose with respect to the number of sectors involved in knowledge production activities. The increase in sectoral activities was shown to be much more concentrated than the increase in technological activities. The mutual information between sectors and countries is considerably higher than between countries and technologies, and is slowly rising. This confirms the specialisation along socio-economic dimensions rather than technological dimensions. These result suggests that leading countries may invest in the invention of a GPT, follower countries can create a niche by the applications of a GPT in a limited number of sectors. Furthermore, our results indicate the importance of technological connectedness of the targeted sectors: technological fields with high connectedness to other technologies will create greater opportunities for future structural transformation.