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The Knowledge Bases of the World's Largest Pharmaceuticals Groups: what do Patent Citations to Non-Patent Literature Reveal?

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Abstract

This paper examines the knowledge bases of the world's largest pharmaceuticals groups by sales. It puts forward the concepts of knowledge breadth and depth as the relevant dimensions along which knowledge bases can be mapped. Breadth is studied by analysing the evolution of specialisation by scientific field over time. It hints at the widening range of bodies of scientific and technological knowledge relevant to firms' innovative activities. Depth (or integration) is studied by analysing the evolution of specialisation across different typologies of research. It hints at the complex, non-linear interdependencies that link the scientific and technological domains. We develop the analyses on the strength of an original database of 33,127 EPO patents, and of 41,931 'non patent document' citations (of which 19,494 were identified as scientific articles included in the ISI databases). The groups studied seem to have incrementally increased the breadth of their knowledge bases, moving toward the fields proper of the new bio-pharmaceutical research trajectory. At the same time, some of the groups studied exhibit remarkable depth in knowledge specialisation in particular fields such as biotechnology, biochemical research and neurosciences. Finally, this paper also provides a first methodological test of possible problems deriving from the use of 'unidentified' patent citations (i.e. added by the examiners together with those proposed by the inventor). We compare a random sample of these citations with a sample of citations explicitly added by the original inventor, and compare the results in terms of scientific specialisations.

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  • Stefano Brusoni & Paola Criscuolo & Aldo Geuna, 2003. "The Knowledge Bases of the World's Largest Pharmaceuticals Groups: what do Patent Citations to Non-Patent Literature Reveal?," SPRU Working Paper Series 90, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  • Handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:90
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    Cited by:

    1. Maxim N. Kotsemir & Tatiana E. Kuznetsova & Elena G. Nasybulina & Anna G. Pikalova, 2015. "Empirical Analysis of Multinational S&T Collaboration Priorities –The Case of Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 53/STI/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    2. Finn Valentin & Maria Theresa Norn & Lars Alkaersig, 2016. "Orientations and outcome of interdisciplinary research: the case of research behaviour in translational medical science," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 106(1), pages 67-90, January.
    3. Xia Fan & Wenjie Liu & Guilong Zhu, 2017. "Scientific linkage and technological innovation capabilities: international comparisons of patenting in the solar energy industry," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 111(1), pages 117-138, April.
    4. Stefano Brusoni & Paola Criscuolo & Aldo Geuna, 2005. "The knowledge bases of the world's largest pharmaceutical groups: what do patent citations to non-patent literature reveal?," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(5), pages 395-415.
    5. repec:bla:stratm:v:38:y:2017:i:9:p:1791-1811 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Anna Giunta & Filippo M. Pericoli & Eleonora Pierucci, 2016. "University–Industry collaboration in the biopharmaceuticals: the Italian case," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 818-840, August.
    7. Leten, Bart & Kelchtermans, Stijn & Belderbos, Ren, 2010. "Internal Basic Research, External Basic Research and the Technological Performance of Pharmaceutical Firms," Working Papers 2010/12, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
    8. Brusoni, Stefano & Geuna, Aldo, 2003. "An international comparison of sectoral knowledge bases: persistence and integration in the pharmaceutical industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1897-1912, December.
    9. Larsen, Maria Theresa, 2011. "The implications of academic enterprise for public science: An overview of the empirical evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 6-19, February.
    10. Novelli, Elena, 2015. "An examination of the antecedents and implications of patent scope," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 493-507.
    11. Eleonora Pierucci, 2015. "University-industry linkages. Among italian regions: a supply-demand analysis," RIVISTA DI ECONOMIA E STATISTICA DEL TERRITORIO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(2), pages 5-33.
    12. Maxim Kotsemir & Tatiana Kuznetsova & Elena Nasybulina & Anna Pikalova, 2015. "Identifying Directions for Russia’s Science and Technology Cooperation," Foresight-Russia Форсайт, CyberLeninka;Федеральное государственное автономное образовательное учреждение высшего образования «Национальный исследовательский университет «Высшая школа экономики», vol. 9(4 (eng)), pages 54-72.
    13. repec:spr:scient:v:71:y:2007:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-007-1650-y is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:spr:scient:v:101:y:2014:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1337-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:spr:scient:v:86:y:2011:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-010-0290-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Anna Comacchio & Sara Bonesso & Claudio Pizzi, 2012. "Boundary spanning between industry and university: the role of Technology Transfer Centres," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(6), pages 943-966, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Knowledge Breadth; Depth; Integration; Patent Citations; Scientific Publications; Pharmaceuticals;

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics

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