In this study, we combine the specialization scores for publications and patents (the latter is a new indicator of cross-disciplinary engagement) to achieve more comprehensive navigation of the innovation trajectory of a technology. The patent specialization score draws upon counterpart research publication indicator concepts to measure patent diversity. Two nano-based technologies—Nano-enabled drug delivery (NEDD) and Graphene—provide contrasting explorations of the behavior of this indicator, alongside research publication indicators. Results show distinctive patterns of the two technologies and for the respective publication and patent indicators. NEDD research, as evidenced by publication and citation patterns, engages highly diverse research fields. In contrast, NEDD development, as reflected in patent International Patent Classifications (IPCs), concentrates on relatively closely associated fields. Graphene presents the opposite picture, with closely linked disciplines contributing to research, but much more diverse fields of application for its patents. We suggest that analyzing the field diversity of research publications and patents together, employing both specialization scores, can offer fruitful insights into innovation trajectories. Such information can contribute to technology and innovation management and policy for such emerging technologies.
Author(s): Seokbeom Kwon, Alan Porter, Jan Youtie
Organization(s): Georgia Institute of Technology