The escalating power of today's analytical technologies and the endless creativity of their users have combined to answer vast social, political and commercial questions in recent years. This month, two inquiries into the geographical context of intellectual assets have revealed intriguing conclusions.
According to Wired, two Thomson Reuters analysts recently compared the patenting activity of all G20 countries. The resultant findings have yielded both qualitative commentaries on cultural heritages and objective insights regarding the global supply chain.
For example, companies in less developed nations were more likely to focus their research and development efforts around natural resources. Conversely, more established innovators like Japan displayed a more balanced national patent portfolio made up of contributions from businesses operating in many different commercial sectors.
In a separate project, University of California - Santa Barbara professor Luciano Kay and his team took a slightly different approach by beginning with invention categories and then tracing their geographic interrelations. According to the MIT Technology Review, the resulting global patent map is an especially valuable tool for understanding how one innovation can trigger progress in several different industries.