Using patents prospectively to identify emerging, high-impact technological clusters

Connie K.N. Chang, Anthony Breitzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This article describes and illustrates the usefulness of a sophisticated methodological tool based on patents, citations, co-citations, and clustering of patents for identifying emerging, high-impact technology clusters and trends. This tool can provide a greater understanding of how emerging, technological clusters form from previous research conducted; the organizations involved; inventors' locations; the core technologies being built upon and technologies currently being pursued; and an early indication of commercial applications that may result. This tool should be of value to program managers interested in tracing the results of funded research projects to economic outcomes and societal impacts; policy-makers interested in fostering regional innovation; and evaluators who are curious how patents can be used as a prospective tool for innovative activity. This article covers in broad strokes the development and validation of the tool, its limitations, key results and highlights from analyzing the top 100 emerging technological clusters, and concluding thoughts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-364
Number of pages8
JournalResearch Evaluation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Library and Information Sciences

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