Technology trajectories, innovation, and the growth of biomimetics
Bonser, R. H. C. and Vincent, J. F. V. (2007) Technology trajectories, innovation, and the growth of biomimetics. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part C-Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, 221 (10). pp. 1177-1180. ISSN 0954-4062
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1243/09544062jmes522
Publication rate of patents can be a useful measure of innovation and productivity in science and technology. Patenting activity in new technological fields follows a sigmoid (S-shaped) path. Qualitative and quantitative models in management and economics literature explain why such patterns of productivity may occur. TRIZ analysis suggests that patents are generated in bursts during the evolution of a product and that they are at different levels of inventiveness. The tendency is for the inventiveness to reduce as the product is more mature. This makes it possible to guess at the lifetime stage of a product and gauge its maturity and profitability. An analysis of patenting activity and other measures of inventiveness in the emerging field of biomimetics was presented, and future trends in biologically-inspired innovation was discussed.