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Thomson Reuters analysis shows concerning trend for global innovation

Company launches authoritative new web destination featuring industry insights and trends

The Intellectual Property (IP) & Science business of Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, announced the launch of its State of Innovation website: http://stateofinnovation.com. This is a global destination for authoritative innovation trend data and industry-specific insights focusing on the Lifecycle of Innovation and showcasing the iterative process of discovering, protecting and commercializing ideas.

“Innovation is at the heart of the global economy.  It is the lifeblood of business, but it’s difficult to measure,” said Basil Moftah, president, Thomson Reuters IP & Science.  “By dissecting innovation to its core components – the scientific research that informs initial discovery and the patents that protect and commercialize new ideas – we can begin to identify important trends that influence the future of the global economy.”

Stateofinnovation.com is the new, central destination for authoritative insights into the world of innovation, including the annual Top 100 Global Innovators and Citation Laureates. The launch of this website features findings from the business’s latest research: The Future Is Open: 2015 State of Innovation, an analysis of global scientific literature and patent data across 12 technology areas. It shows that although overall patent activity has reached an all-time high, year-over-year growth in new inventions has slowed considerably and scientific literature production has declined in almost every industry.

“The State of Innovation offers a unique view into the business of innovation building upon our leading position as a provider of intelligent information,” said Elise Finn, chief marketing officer, Thomson Reuters IP & Science. “We have created this new go-to destination and credible source of comment and insight for anyone with an interest in the world of innovation.”

The Future Is Open: 2015 State of Innovation  examines fundamental research and patent activity worldwide across: Aerospace & Defense; Automotive; Biotechnology; Cosmetics & Well-Being; Food, Beverages & Tobacco; Home Appliances;  Information Technology; Medical Devices; Oil & Gas; Pharmaceuticals; Semiconductors; and Telecommunications.  Thomson Reuters analysts scrutinized five years of global patent and scientific literature data, outlining the top companies, research institutions and technology areas producing the highest volume of innovation.

Key findings from the 2015 State of Innovation include:

Year-Over-Year Innovation Growth Slows: Total, worldwide patent volume increased just 3 percent over the last year, the slowest rate of patent volume growth since the end of the global recession in 2009.  The total volume of new scientific research decreased 34 percent over the same period.  The largest declines in patent and scientific research volume were in the Semiconductor industry.

Overall Patent Volume Reaches New High: Despite the slowdown in year-over-year growth rate, total, worldwide patent volume has reached a record high, with over 2.1 million unique inventions published over the last year.  The industries showing the largest growth in patent volume were Food, Beverages & Tobacco (21 percent); Pharmaceuticals (12 percent); Cosmetics & Well-Being (8 percent); and Biotechnology (7 percent).

Businesses Embrace “Open Innovation”: Across virtually every industry studied, the trend toward “open innovation,” whereby companies partner with academic institutions, individual researchers and other companies (in some cases, even competitors) has been on visible display.  Samsung, for example, has moved to aggressively partner with academic institutions in the development of semiconductor technologies, filing 129.1 of every 10,000 patent filings in this space jointly with an academic institution.

Traditional Industry Lines Blur: Driven largely by the rise of the Internet of Things, the traditional boundaries between industries and companies’ areas of specialization have continued to blur.  Dozens of companies featured in the study, such as Apple, DuPont, General Electric, IBM, and Samsung, appear among the top patent assignees in multiple industries outside of their core areas of focus.  Samsung is the most extreme example, ranking among the top 25 patent assignees in nine of the 12 industries analyzed in the study.

“We are standing at a fascinating inflection point in the history of technological innovation,” added Moftah.  “The organizations in this study clearly recognize the challenges inherent in continuing to break new ground at the pace they’ve maintained for the last several years. They’re taking clear strides, with strategies such as open innovation and aggressive expansion into new industries, to try to achieve even faster, better results.”

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