In its study “IP and Science,” Thomson Reuters analyzed the intellectual property data in 12 technology areas, including scientific literature and patents, and found the global pace of innovation slowed to its lowest level since the global recession in 2009. However, this suggests a possible rise in R&D growth in both the private sector and academic research institutions in the near future.
The full report is available for purchase but highlights include: The total worldwide patent volume increased just 3% over 2014, and the total volume of new scientific research decreased 23% over the same period. The largest declines were focused in the semiconductor industry.
Despite this slowed pace, the worldwide patent volume reached a record high—more than 2.1 million unique inventions were published. The industries showing the largest growth included food, tobacco and beverage fermentation (21%); pharmaceuticals (12%); cosmetics (8%) and biotechnology (7%).
In relation, the trend for open innovation stretched across almost every industry studied, and driven by the Internet, traditional boundaries between industries’ and companies’ specializations continued to blur. Companies such as Apple, Du Pont, General Electric, IBM and Samsung appear among the top patent assignees in multiple industries outside of their core areas of focus.