The Geography of Innovation
Today scientists, technologists and inventors collaborate across local, regional, state, and national borders. But most invention is still a local affair. The innovation economy is defined by its geographic clustering. People who are passionate about what they do want to be around other like-minded people. People and businesses gravitate to areas that have the resources that they need to optimize their economic growth. Whether it’s people and their skills, facilities, access to high speed internet, power, access to transportation, or financial resources, innovators and entrepreneurs follow the resources. Innovation is an organic homegrown and local brew where location counts.
Scientific presence, the holistic look at science and technology activity in a particular location and the quest for critical mass that leads to innovation, is becoming an essential element in how companies, scientists, technologists and the business infrastructure that develops around them select where they want to go and where they want to be. Global companies are increasingly seeking out locations with a strong scientific presence to support its product pipeline, insure access to specialized suppliers, exploit university-industry linkages and access to external scientific and technical resources that can accelerate their own R&D and locations where inventors, investigators, and researchers have opportunities to work with and bump into others working in the same domain. Patents are important indicators of activity in science and technology intense organizations.
The more you know about your local scientific presence and what is being discovered and created in your neighborhood, the more focused efforts can be to support moving inventions from the lab to the marketplace. Interconnected local stakeholders — businesses, civic organizations, educational institutions — and the people who work there are the catalysts that drive invention and innovation. Local and regional economic and community development organizations, in turn, create the environment where innovation can flourish and where business and jobs can grow. They are uniquely positioned to convene, align, and support local inventors and companies to accelerate innovation and the economic growth it spawns.
A Better Early Warning System
The innovation economy needs a better early warning system. The innovation economy is characterized by an accelerating pace of change; the convergence of technology and science to create entirely new classes of products. The need to align workforce talent, public policy and education programs is essential to developing these new markets and remaining competitive in global markets. Skill alignment is essential for filling the jobs needed in this new economy require. Communities need better insight into inventions coming from of their scientific community and what resources will be needed to support them. Patent data is a key component creating a better early warning system for today’s innovation economy.
Patent data and analysis illuminates the inventions that local businesses are investing in. Patent data enables the objective assessment of innovative activity, strengths and weaknesses, competitive prospects, and the specific needs of local innovation ecosystems. Regions and especially states, informed by strong innovation analytics, can have deeper insight and can better target resources to improve and refine the local innovation systems’ performance. Knowing more about the specifics of invention and innovation using patent data can improve the service delivery, business retention and recruitment, engagement, and programs that drive economic growth.
Patents Come First
Patents and published patent applications present a comprehensive and scientifically precise look at what is being invented and where. Patents are one of the best tools for providing a look at what companies are thinking about and where universities and companies are heading, from an innovation perspective. Patent data is filled with multi-dimensional information about inventive and innovation activity organized by scientific domain and location — the the invention does, what it can be used for, who the inventors are, and what company is involved and even information on strategic partnerships between universities and companies. The detailed classification information that accompanies both patent applications and granted patents points to the unique aspects of the invention and to the more specific aspects of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) that these inventions involve.
Inventors and the companies working to build businesses around new ideas that they want an exclusive right to produce and sell seek patent protection first, before their plans are public. Inventors can’t patent inventions where a product is in use or where their invention has been sold anywhere in the world. This means patent filing precedes product announcements and product marketing, public disclosure of innovations, and product sales.
US patent applications are published 18 months after the inventor files the application with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Published patent applications are an reliable early indicator of trends in innovation and what local businesses are working on. Granted patents, published each Tuesday, average about 30-36 months between filing and successful grant of a patent. Granted patents reveal the scope and dimensions of what the inventors and their companies and/or academic institutions are actually have the exclusive rights to. For many independent inventors patents and patent applications are an indication of future business creation and entrepreneurship. The inventor can quit the day job and start building a new firm.
Indicia of Innovation
Patent data is an important indicator of economic activity, business formation, development of new markets and products and services that are coming soon.
Way Better Patents' analytics use patent data to create actionable insight into what is happening in the innovation economy and where it is happening. From our weekly box scores and score cards provide a national view of new patent activity. Our custom reports are tailored to our client's requirements. Way Better Patents can help you understand what is coming soon to your local innovation economy.Please contact us and let us help you explore what's coming soon in your neighborhood.