Technology emergence has become a hot topic in R&D policy and management communities. Various methods of measuring technology emergence have been developed. However, there is little literature discussing how to evaluate the results identified by different methods. This research sharpens a promising Technology Emergence Indicator (TEI) set by assessing alternative formulations on three distinct datasets: Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells, Non-Linear Programming, and Nano-Enabled Drug Delivery. Our TEIs derive from a conceptual foundation including three attributes of emergence: persistence, community, and growth that we systematically address through a 3-dimensional evaluation framework. Comparing TEI behavior through sensitivity analyses shows good robustness for the measures. The TEI serve to distinguish emerging R&D topics in the field under study. They can further be used to identify highly active players publishing on those topics. Importantly, results show that identified emerging terms and topics persist to a strong degree; thus, they serve to predict highly active R&D foci within the technical domain under study.
Author(s): Xiaoyu Liu, Alan L. Porter
Organization(s): Beijing Institute of Technology, Search Technology