Significant difference of dependence upon scientific knowledge among different technologies

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The authors have constructed an original database of the full text of the Japanese Patent Gazette published since 1994. The database includes not only the front page but also the body text of more than 880,000 granted Japanese patents. By reading the full texts of all 1,500 patent samples, we found that some inventors cite many academic papers in addition to earlier patents in the body texts of their Japanese patents. Using manually extracted academic paper citations and patent citations as ‘right’ answers, we fine-tuned a search algorithm that automatically retrieves cited scientific papers and patents from the entire texts of all the Japanese patents in the database. An academic paper citation in a patent text indicates that the inventor used scientific knowledge in the cited paper when he/she invented the idea codified in the citing patent. The degree of science linkage, as measured by the number of research papers cited in patent documents, is particularly strong in biotechnology. Among other types of technology, those related to photographic-sensitized material, cryptography, optical computing, and speech recognition also show strong science linkage. This suggests that the degree of dependence on scientific knowledge differs from technology to technology and therefore, different ways of university-industry collaboration are necessary for different technology fields.

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