. "1. Overview of Trends in Innovation in the Chemical Industry." Reducing the Time from Basic Research to Innovation in the Chemical Sciences: A Workshop Report to the Chemical Sciences Roundtable. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.
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FIGURE 1.1 The technology cycle time (TCT) for U.S. chemical patents is flat, indicating that the industry’s rate of innovation has decreased. Courtesy of the Council on Chemical Research, Copyright 2000.
New York University, performed an econometric study on the return on the chemical industry’s R&D investment.
Narin’s work was based on data from the U.S. patent database, which offers a global view by including the origin of the inventors. It is also dependent on several indices that CHI has developed to look at the impact of patents, the technology cycle time, and the tie to basic science. During the 1980s, the technology cycle time, a measure of the age of the earlier patents cited in a current patent, slowed significantly in the chemical sciences. During the 1990s, it remained flat—a clear indication of the slowdown in the speed at which the industry is innovating (see Figure 1.1).
At the same time, the current impact index of U.S. technology—as measured by citations of U.S. patents by other patents—has strengthened in all areas, including the chemical sciences. A closer look at the data for chemical sciences shows that the U.S. impact is increasing, while Germany’s is flat and Japan’s is decreasing significantly.
Another index analyzed by CHI was the science linkage, the citation of science publications on patents as opposed to the citation of other patents. The science linkage, the tie to more basic science, is increasing for the chemical sciences over the 15-year study period and is only outpaced by the life sciences. The science linkage data for the chemical sciences again show the United States significantly outpacing Germany and Japan. These trends help frame the importance of the chemical sciences in society and the comparative strength of U.S.-based chemical science innovation, as well as the opportunity in front of us.
The three macrotrends I selected for today’s discussion are the impact of high-throughput research, global organizations, and market-driven research on the speed of innovation.