Staying relevant by spotting emerging technologies with Patent Mining


Staying relevant by spotting emerging technologies with Patent Mining

Objective information about the world around us

What do we have to invest in, to ensure we are still relevant five years from now? This is a question that many organisations must ponder. The answer is: start by being properly informed about what’s going on around the world. And this can be achieved in a more structured way than you might think: with the aid of a gigantic patent database, for instance.

24 November 2015

Keeping abreast of current affairs, sounding out all kinds of networking events and the odd Google search: this is no longer enough to spot new and emerging technologies and keep an eye on the standout companies or start-ups in this sphere. Because of this, companies are seeking more structured, efficient and objective sources of information about, for example, developments in the sphere of life sciences, material sciences and new energy.

Quantitative data research

Based on the huge quantity of data out there, we can make well-informed assumptions about the world around us. Take, for instance, our recent quantitative research of the factors that determine the success of scale-ups, start-ups that generate turnover in excess of 10 million euros within five years. Our survey involved analysing a database of 400 thousand start-ups. Among other things, we concluded that experienced managers and multifaceted teams are an important basis for success; this is very welcome news for companies involved in corporate venturing.

Searching through millions of patents

So external datasets can make it easier for organisations to monitor the world around them. With this in mind, we developed Patent Mining, a solution which combines a database of around 70 million patents with a database in which over 130 million businesses are registered.

Based on the patent data we can, for instance, draw conclusions on the pace at which a particular technology is evolving, or we can identify which fields of technology are converging.

Sophisticated algorithms

To give just one example, we are using Patent Mining for a large municipal authority that wants to revitalise parts of the city by establishing a good investment climate for a particular type of business. In the past, the way to get to know these businesses was through trade delegations and networking, for instance, which meant leaving a great deal to chance. Now, thanks to our large databases and sophisticated algorithms, we were able to search very specifically for businesses that may be of interest to this municipal authority. The authority initiated talks with these businesses and some of them have already set up base in the city.

Objective opinion

Besides public authorities, the database can also help businesses that engage in a lot of R&D, investors, etc. A big American investor recently presented us with a list of four companies and it was our task to investigate, based on the patents, which was the most interesting for the client.

We found a company that was a perfect fit for the investor’s requirements and, coincidentally, was also based in the same location. The company in question was not on the investor’s list. It turned out that the investor was in fact familiar with the start-up but had never properly investigated it, because he felt quite a strong aversion towards the founder. Thanks to the objective opinion formed from Patent Mining, he saw that the business did indeed have potential. The upshot was that the investor took over the business and the director was bought out. 

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