15. Scientometrics as a Policy and Strategic Tool
- Measurement activity and science policy
- Technology forecasting- basic understanding
- Scientometric and technology forecasting
- Application of scientometrics in science policy.
What is Technology Forecasting (TF)
- Technology monitoring, technology watch, technology alerts (gathering and interpreting information)
- Technical intelligence and competitive intelligence (converting information into usable intelligence)
- Technology forecasting (anticipating the direction and pace of changes)
- Technology Road-mapping (relating anticipated advances in technologies and products to generate plans)
- Technology assessment, and forms of impact assessment, including strategic environmental assessment (anticipating the unintended, indirect, and delayed effects of technological changes)
- Technology foresight, also national and regional foresight (effecting development strategy, often involving participatory mechanisms)
Bibliometrics &amp; Technology Forecasting
Bibliometric Analysis: one of the popular methods in Technology forecasting
Usefulness in the Context of Foresight Study
- Help Identify emerging scientific specialties and research areas; research fronts where action is taking place.
- Bibliometric data can be adjusted using an S curve as a way to fit the technological growth process (applying models such as Fischer-Pry Model).
- Technology clustering based on: (a) Co-occurrence analysis of patent classification codes/keywords from titles or abstracts; (b) Patent citation network.
- Patent citation network can help identify in any area of technology: (a) The technology plane, Precursor and Successor technology; (b) Key patents, key companies, inventors; (c) Identify interactions between science and technology etc.
- Core competency of countries in an area of scientific research or technology.
- Expert selection within a field.
Application of Scientometrics in Technology Forecasting: Some illustrative cases
- GlaxoSmithKline (2000): Just after the merger of SmithKline & with Beecham (1990), the question of focus was to guide the company in refocusing its R&D resources. The application of scientometrics or science mapping was used as one element in the redirection of its R&D resources. Scientometric maps of the seven therapeutic areas in which the merged company was active was generated. From this, they concluded that the field of gastrointestinal disease (GI) research in particular was not generating a significant amount of high-performance research. The company decided to close its research activities in this area, and to focus on research in the remaining six. Scientometric technology gave the company an important intelligence perspective that enabled it to reshape its research portfolio for greater productivity, and to define a number of promising technology opportunities.
- CHI Research Study in 2004 demonstrated the importance of public science in generating key input for subsequent patents in technology areas. This study showed the substantial citations to research papers in patents. It also highlighted the role of public funded institutions as almost 73% of research papers cited in patents emerged from public funded institutes (44% from public funded research institutions in America and rest 29% from foreign public funded research institutions). This work contributed significantly to the increase in research grant for public science in the USA. It also got noticed in other countries and had high spin-off effect i.e. may countries increased outlay for public science.
- The study by Cheng and Chen (2008), on technology forecasting of new materials (eg. Nano sized ceramic powders) adopted the bibliometric analysis through EI database and trademark office (USPTO) database to gain useful data for this work. This study applied the growth curve method to investigate the technology performances of nanosized ceramic powders. The study found that nanosized ceramic powders were all in the initial growth periods of technological life cycles. The technology performances of nanosized ceramic powders through the EI and USPTO databases were similar. The bibliometric analysis was proposed as the simple and efficient tools to link the science and technology activities, and to obtain quantitative and historical data for helping researchers in technology forecasting, especially in rare historical data available fields, such as the new materials fields.
- The study by Chen and Cheng Wang (2009) extracted the patent amount information of the biped robot walking technique in Japan from the patent database of the Japan Patent Ofﬁce. The study then analyzed the extracted information using the S-curve Loglet Lab, Pearl and Gompertz models in order to predict the development trend of the walking technique in Japan. According to the results of the analysis, the biped robot walking technique in Japan will continue to grow and reach saturation in the period 2079–2082. This type of ﬁndings help business managers and technical developers to manage their strategies of developing the techniques. It is feasible to predict the development trend of a technology using the approach presented in this study.