Collaboration effectiveness in energy research and development : an empirical study of patents
Author(s)Rahill, Daniel F.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering and Management Program.
System Design and Management Program.
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Innovation is critical for any business. A key driver of innovation is developing and adopting new technology. One key component to company innovation is the choice to develop technology internally or in collaboration with external resources. This study explores the role of such collaborations in contributing to innovation in the energy industry through evaluation of patent data across both traditional oil and gas patents and renewable patents at both the individual patent-level and company-level. Evaluation of collaboration trends finds significant evidence of increasing and accelerating partnership frequency and size in the energy sector with the notable exception of renewables. Collaboration as defined by more than one assignee is linked to higher patent quality as defined by the PageRank of patent citations, consistent with previous findings. The novel finding is that interactions between patent technology and collaboration are meaningful. The results that renewables have less frequent and less effective partnerships is counter to expectations. One possible explanation is related to the maturity and focus areas of the industry. Company-level evaluation are largely inconclusive but do find limited evidence higher revenue deceases the effectiveness of partnering in general but increases the effectiveness of partnering with a research institute. Finally, financial evaluation findings are largely consistent with existing literature, notably patent quality is reflected in increased company revenue. Patent value as defined by quality per research and development spend largely aligns with patent quality. This suggests patent quality appears to be a good proxy for patent value and the relative cost differences associated with partnering do not appear significant on average.
Thesis: S.M. in Engineering and Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, System Design and Management Program, September, 2020Cataloged from the official version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 80-82).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering and Management Program; System Design and Management Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering and Management Program., System Design and Management Program.