Tracing the system transformations and innovation pathways of an emerging technology: Solid lipid nanoparticles

Accurately evaluating opportunities in new and emerging science and technologies is a growing concern. This study proposes an integrated framework for identifying a range of potential innovation pathways and commercial applications for solid lipid nanoparticles – one particularly promising contender within the field of nano-enabled drug delivery. Several text mining techniques – term clumping, SAO technique, and net effect analysis – as well as technology roadmapping, are combined with expert judgment to identify the main areas of R&D in this field, and to track their evolution over time. Through analysis, data from multiple sources, including research publications, patents, and commercial press, reveal possible future applications and commercialization opportunities for this emerging technology. We find that research is moving away from materials and delivery outcomes toward clinical applications. The most promising markets are pharmaceuticals and cosmetics; however, the “time-to-market” is much shorter for cosmetics than it is for pharmaceuticals.

The most significant contributions of this paper have been highlighted as follows. One innovation is extracting the intelligence from three kinds of data sources after in-depth considering their characteristics and matching with the features of different technology development stages to identify innovative research topics. The second one is combining SAO technique with net effect analysis to identify what the evolutionary links between research topics are, and then to use TRM to visualize the evolution of the main areas of R&D over time.

Author(s):Xiao Zhou, Lu Huang, Alan Porter, Jose M.Vicente-Gomila
Organization(s): Xidian University, Beijing Institute or Technology
Source: Technological Forecasting and Social Change
Year: 2018

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