The relationship between science and technology : a bibliometric analysis of papers and patents in innovative firms.
Scholars are still debating the relative importance of science and
technology in the innovation process. While most agree that the linear
model - basic research followed by applied research then development is far from adequate, we have not yet arrived at an accepted theoryexplaining
the relationships between science and technology. At best,
we have surveys trying to identify the sources of innovations, or
historical case studies limited in scope.
When bibliometric analysis first appeared, it looked promising. Several
bibliometric studies, mostly conducted in the last few years, have tried
to correlate the output of papers with that of patents in order to see
how science and technology interact. After surveying this literature,
the author of the present study proceeds to a bibliometric analysis of
the scientific production of the 199 firms which produce the most patents
in the world.
A database consisting of 11,814 papers published in 1989 and 84,658
products and processes patented between 1986 and 1989 has been developed.
Papers have been classified into 9 scientific disciplines, and patents
into 32 product groups. Statistical analyses have been performed on
these data at the industrial level.
The study has found that, while industries traditionally identified as
science-based (chemicals/pharmaceuticals, electronics/computers) are
obviously the one which publish the most, they are far from being the
only ones. A second group of industries (instruments, aircraft, motor,
metal, mining) is becoming more science-based. Their scientific
publications increased by 20% between 1980 and 1989, and the total volume
corresponds to 16% of our database. The author suggests that these
trends reflect the evolutionary nature of industrial innovation.
As one might have expected, a large share of papers has been found to be
concerned with applied research. More interestingly, however, a greater
share has been identified as science rather than technology.
Finally, the study has developed a preliminary model of the incentives
to publish within industry. The motivations identified in a survey of
113 industrial authors of papers have been shown to be the same as those
of academics, irrespective of their research context. However, whereas
academics' publications supply science, industrialists demand science.
Consequences are drawn for science policy.