Category Archives: ST&I policy

An overview of intellectual property within agricultural biotechnology in Brazil (Full-Text)

Brazilian agricultural biotechnology has seen great advances in recent decades, especially in the development of GM crops, including soybean, cotton, and maize, which has placed Brazil in second place since 2013 in the ranking of countries with the greatest GM-cultivated area. However, patenting these technologies is somewhat more restrictive in Brazil than in other countries, such as the USA and Japan, especially concerning isolated biological material from nature. Hence, the intellectual protection of crops in Brazil is encompassed by sui generis rights and/or the patenting of only the development process. Given the current scenario and the importance of biotechnology for the Brazilian agriculture sector, it is necessary to deeply study the patent system for recently developed technologies to identify opportunities for enterprises and national institutes to act in this area. The application of novel biotechnological strategies to agriculture will contribute to the expanding agriculture sector and become part of the solution to global challenges. Through this study, we can identify the major companies developing and protecting their agrobiotechnologies. Additionally, a more detailed analysis verifies that although there are some restrictions in Brazilian laws, GM patent applicants find ways to obtain intellectual protection for the tools they use in the development of GM crops, which include regulatory sequences, gene constructs and production methodologies. Mechanisms to stimulate investment in Brazilian research companies and public policies must be consolidated, allowing investment and public–private partnerships in this sector, with the aim of applying biotechnological knowledge and turn it into products demanded by society.

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Author(s): L.H.M. Figueiredo, A.G. Vasconcellos, G.S. Prado, M.F. Grossi-de-Sa
Organization(s): EMBRAPA Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, National Institute of Industrial Property/INPI
Source: Biotechnology Research and Innovation
Year: 2019

Mapping the Brazilian microscopy landscape: A bibliometric and network analysis

Understanding how a technology is introduced and shared in a society has a strategic value for the planning of technological development and assessing new market opportunities. Among other technologies, microscopy has had a significant role in advancing different fields of science. In Brazil, its use spans from biomedical to engineering areas. Here, we used social network analysis (SNA) to map and quantify the flow of interaction between Brazilian researchers involved in microscopy techniques. The analysis examines co-occurrence of thematic networks and scientific co-authorship in articles published in a ten years window, as retrieved from Scopus database. The results showed an increasing volume of publications using microscopy in Brazil. The two major areas of interest are material and life sciences, which present significant intra-regional interaction. USA, Spain, Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom are the main partner countries for international scientific collaborations. The share of Brazilian publications applying microscopy follows the global trends, with a slight predominance in health and life sciences. Our results provide a context of the strengths and gaps of the field in Brazil and may help to inform researchers and policy makers for further advancing the field.

Author(s): Priscila C. Albuquerque, Brunade Paula Fonseca e Fonseca, Wendell Girard-Dias, Fabio Zicker, Wanderley de Souza, Kildare Miranda
Organization(s): Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
Source: Micron
Year: 2018

Collaboration Towards a More Inclusive Society: The Case of South African ICT4D Researchers

In this study, research collaboration in the context of South African Information and Communication for Development (ICT4D) researchers was investigated using a mixed methods approach. South Africa, a country with stark development challenges and on the other hand a well-established ICT infrastructure, provides an appropriate context for ICT4D research. Firstly, a quantitative analysis of South African research collaboration between 2003 and 2016 was conducted to determine the existing research collaboration patterns of South African ICT4D researchers. This is based on the publications in three top ICT4D journals namely the Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries (EJISDC), Information Technologies & International Development (ITID), and Information Technology for Development (ITD). The results show that most co-authored papers were intra-institutional collaborations, with limited inter-institutional collaboration between South African authors or between South African and other African authors. Secondly, interviews were conducted with South African researchers who emerged as inter- and intra-institutional collaborators to gain insight into the technology, drivers and barriers affecting South African research collaboration. We report our findings and discuss the implications for employing research collaboration as a mechanism for addressing inequality and supporting inclusion.


Author(s): Judy van Biljon, Filistea Naude
Organization(s): University of South Africa
Source: This Changes Everything – ICT and Climate Change: What Can We Do? (IFIP International Conference on Human Choice and Computers 2018)
Year: 2018

Institutional shaping of research priorities: A case study on avian influenza

Since outbreaks in 2003, avian influenza has received a considerable amount of funding and become a controversial science policy issue in various respects. Like in many other global and multidisciplinary societal problems fraught with high levels of uncertainty, a variety of perspectives have emerged over how to “tackle” avian influenza and public voices have expressed concern over how research funds are being allocated. In this article, we document if and how research agendas are being informed by public policy debates. We use qualitative and quantitative approaches to examine the relations between expectations of outcomes of public science and the existing research landscape. Interviews with a cross-section of stakeholders reveal a wide range of perspectives and values associated with the nature and objectives of existing research avenues. We find that the landscape of public avian influenza research is not directly driven by expectations of societal outcomes. Instead, it is shaped by three institutional drivers: pharmaceutical industry priorities, publishing and public research funding pressures, and the mandates of science-based policy or public health organizations. These insights suggest that, in research prioritization, funding agencies should embrace a broad perspective of research governance that explicitly considers underlying institutional drivers. Deliberative approaches in public priority setting might help to make agendas more plural and diverse and thus more responsive to the contested and uncertain nature of avian influenza research.

Author(s): Matthew L.Wallace, Ismael Ràfols
Organization(s): Universitat Politècnica de València
Source: Research Policy
Year: 2018

Analysis of an investment by a seed capital fund using a patento-scientometric approach: the case of probiotics technology for veterinary use

This article examines the potential use of scientometric and patentometric indicators as a way to instrumentalise the process of selecting projects by seed capital funds. Academic interest in high-tech companies is growing due to their ability to contribute to economic and social development. Nevertheless, the literature and documented practice reveal a certain difficulty to evaluate non-financial criteria associated with technologies by venture capital funds. We selected the case of a company that received an investment from Brazil’s largest seed capital fund to analyse the contribution of these indicators to understand the potential of the firm’s technology. We conclude that use of scientometric and patentometric can improve the process of evaluation of the following criteria: technology; market; divestment; and team.

Author(s): Gustavo Da Silva Motta, Maxwel De Azevedo-Ferreira, Rogério Hermida Quintella
Organization(s): Universidade Federal Fluminense, Universidade Federal da Bahia
Source: International Journal of Bibliometrics in Business and Management
Year: 2018

A Study of Methods to Identify Industry-University-Research Institution Cooperation Partners based on Innovation Chain Theory

This study aims at identifying potential industry-university-research collaboration (IURC) partners effectively and analyzes the conditions and dynamics in the IURC process based on innovation chain theory.

Design/methodology/approach: The method utilizes multisource data, combining bibliometric and econometrics analyses to capture the core network of the existing collaboration networks and institution competitiveness in the innovation chain. Furthermore, a new identification method is constructed that takes into account the law of scientific research cooperation and economic factors.
Findings: Empirical analysis of the genetic engineering vaccine field shows that through the distribution characteristics of creative technologies from different institutions, the analysis based on the innovation chain can identify the more complementary capacities among organizations.Research limitations: In this study, the overall approach is shaped by the theoretical concept of an innovation chain, a linear innovation model with specific types or stages of innovation activities in each phase of the chain, and may, thus, overlook important feedback mechanisms in the innovation process.
Practical implications: Industry-university-research institution collaborations are extremely important in promoting the dissemination of innovative knowledge, enhancing the quality of innovation products, and facilitating the transformation of scientific achievements.
Originality/value: Compared to previous studies, this study emulates the real conditions of IURC. Thus, the rule of technological innovation can be better revealed, the potential partners of IURC can be identified more readily, and the conclusion has more value.

Author(s): Haiyun Xu, Chao Wang, Kun Dong, Rui Luo, Zenghui Yue, Hongshen Pang
Source: Journal of Data and Information Science
Year: 2018

Tracing the knowledge-building dynamics in new stem cell technologies through techno-scientific networks

This study assesses the knowledge-building dynamics of emerging technologies, their participating country-level actors, and their interrelations. We examine research on induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, a recently discovered stem cell species. Compared to other studies, our approach conflates the totality of publications and patents of a field, and their references, into single “techno-scientific networks” across intellectual bases (IB) and research fronts (RF). Diverse mapping approaches—co-citation, direct citation, and bibliographic coupling networks—are used, driven by the problems tackled by iPS cell researchers. Besides the study of the field of iPS cells as a whole, we assessed the roles of relevant countries in terms of “knowledge exploration,” “knowledge nurturing,” “knowledge exploitation,” and cognitive content. The results show that a fifth of nodes in IB and edges in RF interconnect science (S) and technology (T). S and T domains tell different, yet complementing stories: S overstresses upstream activities, and T captures the increasing influential role of application domains and general technologies. Both S and T reflect the path-dependent nature of iPS cells in embryonic stem cell technologies. Building on the feedback between IB and RF, we examine the dominating role of the United States. Japan, the pioneer, falls behind in quantity, yet its global influence remains intact. New entrants, such as China, are advancing rapidly, yet, cognitively, the bulk of efforts are still upstream. Our study demonstrates the need for bibliometric assessment studies to account for S&T co-evolution. The multiple data source-based, integrated bibliometric approaches of this study are initial efforts toward this direction.

Author(s): Alfonso Ávila-Robinson, Shintaro Sengoku
Organization(s): Kyoto University, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Source: Scientometrics
Year: 2017

Scientometric Study on Deep Learning for Human Decision Support (full-text)

In order to assist with long-term R&D planning and the prioritization of research topics, this scientometric study was commissioned by the Department of National Defence of Canada (DRDC) to provide a high level overview of worldwide research activity in the field of deep learning for human decision support. This study will assist DRDC in uncovering and understanding the potential impact of new research on future defence and security capabilities and operations. In all, 8,565 references to publications from 2011-2016 were retrieved and analyzed using text mining software and a variety of visualization tools to identify top architectures, emerging trends, key players, collaboration networks, application areas and limitations.


Author(s): Erica Wiseman
Organization: National Research Council of Canada / Knowledge Management (NRC-KM)
Source: NRC-KM Strategic Technical Insights
Year: 2017

A bibliometric review of nitrogen research in eutrophic lakes and reservoirs

The global application of nitrogen is far greater than phosphorus, and it is widely involved in the eutrophication of lakes and reservoirs. We used a bibliometric method to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate nitrogen research in eutrophic lakes and reservoirs to reveal research developments, current research hotspots and emerging trends in this area. A total of 2695 articles in the past 25 years from the online database of the Scientific Citation Index Expended (SCI-Expanded) were analyzed for publication output, authors, institutions, countries, journals and keywords. Articles in this area increased exponentially from 1991 to 2015. Although the USA was the most productive country over the past 25 years, China achieved the top position in terms of yearly publications after 2010. The most active keywords related to nitrogen in the past 25 years included phosphorus, nutrients, sediment, chlorophyll-a, carbon, phytoplankton, cyanobacteria, water quality, modeling, and stable isotopes, based on analysis within 5-year intervals from 1991 to 2015 as well as the entire past 25 years. In addition, researchers have drawn increasing attention to denitrification, climate change, and internal loading. Future trends in this area should focus on: (1) nutrient amounts, ratios, and major nitrogen sources leading to eutrophication; (2) nitrogen transformation and the bioavailability of different nitrogen forms; (3) nitrogen budget, mass balance model, control, and management; (4) ecosystem responses to nitrogen enrichment and reduction, as well as the relationships between these responses; and (5) interactions between nitrogen and other stressors (e.g., light intensity, carbon, phosphorus, toxic contaminants, climate change, and hydrological variations) in terms of eutrophication.

Author(s): Xiaolong Yao, Yunlin Zhang, Lu Zhang, Yongqiang Zhou
Organization(s): Chinese Academy of Sciences
Source: Journal of Environmental Sciences
Year: 2017

Research development, current hotspots, and future directions of water research based on MODIS images: a critical review with a bibliometric analysis

Water is essential for life as it provides drinking water and food for humans and animals. Additionally, the water environment provides habitats for numerous species and plays an important role in hydrological, nutrient, and carbon cycles. Among the existing natural resources on Earth’s surface, water is the most extensive as it covers more than 70% of the Earth. To gather a comprehensive understanding of the focus of past, present, and future directions of remote sensing water research, we provide an alternative perspective on water research using moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) imagery by conducting a comparative quantitative and qualitative analysis of research development, current hotspots, and future directions using a bibliometric analysis. Our study suggests that there has been a rapid growth in the scientific outputs of water research using MODIS imagery over the past 15 years compared to other popular satellites around the world. The analysis indicated that Remote Sensing of Environment was the most active journal, and “remote sensing,” “imaging science photographic technology,” “environmental sciences ecology,” “meteorology atmospheric sciences,” and “geology” are the top 5 most popular subject categories. The Chinese Academy of Sciences was the most productive institution with a total of 477 papers, and Hu CM (Chinese) was the most productive author with 76 papers. A keyword analysis indicated that “vegetation index,” “evapotranspiration,” and “phytoplankton” were the most active research topics throughout the study period. In addition, it is predicted that more attention will be paid to research on climate change and phenology in the future. Based on the keyword analysis and in consideration of current environmental problems, more studies should focus on the following three aspects: (1) develop methods suitable for data assimilation to fully explain climate or phenological phenomena at continental or global scales rather than at local scales; (2) accurately predict the effect of global change and human activities on evapotranspiration and the water cycle; and (3) determine the evolutionary process of the water environment (i.e., water quality, macrophytes, cyanobacteria, etc.), ascertaining its dominant factors and driving mechanisms. By focusing on these three aspects, researchers will be able to provide timely monitoring and evaluation of water quality and its response to global change and human activities.

Author(s): Yibo Zhang, Yunlin Zhang, Kun Shi, Xiaolong Yao
Organization(s): Chinese Academy of Sciences
Source: Environmental Science and Pollution Research
Year: 2017