IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Robotics: Breakthrough Technologies, Innovation, Intellectual Property


  • Andrew Keisner
  • Julio Raffo
  • Sacha Wunsch-Vincent


Robotics technology and the increasing sophistication of artifi cial intelligence are breakthrough innovations with signifi cant growth prospects. Th ey have the potential to disrupt existing socio-economic facets of everyday life. Yet few studies have analysed the development of robotics innovation. Th is paper closes this gap by analysing current developments in innovation in robotics; how it is diff used, and what role is played by intellectual property (IP). Th e paper argues that robotics clusters are mainly located in the US and Europe, despite a growing presence in South Korea and China. Th e robotics innovation ecosystem builds on cooperative networks of actors, including individuals, research institutions, and fi rms. Governments play a signifi cant role in supporting robotics innovation through funding, military demand, and national robotics strategies. Robotics competitions and prizes provide an important incentive for innovation. Patents are used to exclude third parties to secure freedom of operation, license technologies, and avoid litigation. Th e countries with the highest number of patent claims are Japan, China, South Korea, and the US. Th e growing stock of patents owned by universities and PROs, particularly in China, is noteworthy too. Automotive and electronics companies are still the largest patent fi lers, but medical technologies and the Internet are emerging as new actors in the fi eld. Secrecy is oft en used as a tool to appropriate innovation. Copyright protection is relevant to robotics also, mainly for its role in protecting soft ware. Finally, open-source robotics platforms are increasingly used in the early stages of the innovation process as they allow new actors in the robotics fi eld to optimize their initial spending on innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Keisner & Julio Raffo & Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, 2016. "Robotics: Breakthrough Technologies, Innovation, Intellectual Property," Foresight-Russia Форсайт, CyberLeninka;Федеральное государственное автономное образовательное учреждение высшего образования «Национальный исследовательский университет «Высшая школа экономики», vol. 10(2 (eng)), pages 7-27.
  • Handle: RePEc:scn:013126:16907039

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frey, Carl Benedikt & Osborne, Michael A., 2017. "The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 254-280.
    2. Andrew Keisner & Julio Raffo & Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, 2015. "Breakthrough technologies - Robotics, innovation and intellectual property," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 30, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division.
    3. Kumaresan, Nageswaran & Miyazaki, Kumiko, 1999. "An integrated network approach to systems of innovation--the case of robotics in Japan," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 563-585, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Zoltan Csefalvay & Petros Gkotsis, 2020. "Global race for robotisation - Looking at the entire robotisation chain," JRC Working Papers JRC121184, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    2. Natalia Shmatko & Galina Volkova, 2020. "Bridging the Skill Gap in Robotics: Global and National Environment," SAGE Open, , vol. 10(3), pages 21582440209, September.
    3. Egor Skvortcov & Ekaterina Skvortsova & Ivan Sandu & Grigory Iovlev, 2018. "Transition of Agriculture to Digital, Intellectual and Robotics Technologies," Economy of region, Centre for Economic Security, Institute of Economics of Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, vol. 1(3), pages 1014-1028.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Benjamin David, 2015. "Computer technology and probable job destructions in Japan: an evaluation," EconomiX Working Papers 2015-28, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    2. Andrew Keisner & Julio Raffo & Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, 2015. "Breakthrough technologies - Robotics, innovation and intellectual property," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 30, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division.
    3. Wipo, 2015. "World Intellectual Property Report 2015 - Breakthrough Innovation and Economic Growth," WIPO Economics & Statistics Series, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division, number 2015:944, April.
    4. van den Broek, Tijs & van Veenstra, Anne Fleur, 2018. "Governance of big data collaborations: How to balance regulatory compliance and disruptive innovation," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 330-338.
    5. Lange, Steffen & Pohl, Johanna & Santarius, Tilman, 2020. "Digitalization and energy consumption. Does ICT reduce energy demand?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 176(C).
    6. Christian Dippel & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich & Rodrigo Pinto, 2017. "Instrumental Variables and Causal Mechanisms: Unpacking the Effect of Trade on Workers and Voters," CESifo Working Paper Series 6816, CESifo.
    7. Samargandi, Nahla, 2017. "Sector value addition, technology and CO2 emissions in Saudi Arabia," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 868-877.
    8. David J. Deming, 2017. "The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(4), pages 1593-1640.
    9. Colombo, Emilio & Mercorio, Fabio & Mezzanzanica, Mario, 2019. "AI meets labor market: Exploring the link between automation and skills," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 27-37.
    10. Frederic L Pryor, 2015. "Recent Fracturing in the US Economy and Society," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 230-250, March.
    11. Goeldner, Moritz & Herstatt, Cornelius & Tietze, Frank, 2015. "The emergence of care robotics — A patent and publication analysis," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 115-131.
    12. Lucas van der Velde, 2020. "Within Occupation Wage Dispersion and the Task Content of Jobs," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 82(5), pages 1161-1197, October.
    13. Grass, Karen & Weber, Enzo, 2016. "EU 4.0 - The debate on digitalisation and the labour market in Europe," IAB Discussion Paper 201639_en, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    14. Thomsen, Stephan L, 2018. "Die Rolle der Computerisierung und Digitalisierung für Beschäftigung und Einkommen," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-645, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    15. Sînziana-Maria RÎNDA?U, 2016. "Information security – a new challenge for the young and future financial auditors," The Audit Financiar journal, Chamber of Financial Auditors of Romania, vol. 14(138), pages 670-670, June.
    16. Scholl, Keller & Hanson, Robin, 2020. "Testing the automation revolution hypothesis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    17. Prettner, Klaus & Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Innovation, automation, and inequality: Policy challenges in the race against the machine," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 249-265.
    18. Hensvik, Lena & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2019. "The skill-specifc impact of past and projected occupational declinea," Working Paper Series 2019:28, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    19. Fossen, Frank M. & Sorgner, Alina, 2021. "Digitalization of work and entry into entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 548-563.
    20. Qingjun Zhao & Jiancheng Guan, 2012. "Modeling the dynamic relation between science and technology in nanotechnology," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 90(2), pages 561-579, February.

    More about this item


    robotics; robot; artifi cial intelligence; innovation; patent; trade secret; intellectual property; copyright;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O21 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Planning Models; Planning Policy
    • O35 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Social Innovation


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:scn:013126:16907039. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CyberLeninka). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.