GENEVA, Nov. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The 2019 edition of WIPO’s World Intellectual Property Report analyzed millions of patent and scientific publication records across several decades to conclude that innovative activity has grown increasingly collaborative and transnational, while originating in a few large clusters located in a small number of countries.
Some 30 metropolitan hotspots alone accounted for 69 percent of patents and 48 percent of scientific activity during the 2015-2017 period. They are mostly located in five countries – China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America (U.S.).
The report finds that innovation has become more collaborative. In the early 2000s, teams of scientists produced 64 percent of all scientific papers and teams of inventors were behind 54 percent of all patents. By the second half of the 2010s, these figures had grown to almost 88 and 68 percent, respectively.
Collaboration has also become more international in nature. The share of scientific collaborations with two or more researchers located in different countries grew from 15 percent in 1998 to 26 percent in 2017. For patents, the share of international co-inventions increased to 11 percent until 2009, but has since slightly fallen, partly because of rapid growth in domestic collaborations in certain countries. Most international collaboration takes place among the top metropolitan hotspots. The largest ten of them – San Francisco–San Jose, New York, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Boston, Shanghai, London, Beijing, Bengaluru, and Paris – account for 26 percent of all international co-inventions. The U.S. hotspots emerge as the most connected ones in the world.
"Today’s innovation landscape is highly globally interlinked," said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. "Increasingly complex technological solutions for shared global challenges need ever larger and more-specialized teams of researchers, which rely on international collaboration. It is imperative that economies remain open in the pursuit of innovation."