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The analysis of research and development efficiency in Japanese companies in the field of fuel cells using patent data

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Using patent data, a new quantitative analytical method categorizes the degree of integration of leading edge technologies in order to examine the current research & development (R&D) status and strategies of companies focusing in the fuel battery field, an area showing great potential as an alternative to fossil fuels. Specifically, this paper presents three types of categorization reflecting the International Patent Classification (IPC) of patent data, and introduces the concept of ‘innovation positions’, which is based on this categorization. Application purposes can be different between various industrial sectors, even within the same technological field; therefore, the progress status of R&D varies and that fact is reflected in innovation positions. Additionally, this paper makes clear that innovation positions reflect differences in companies' core competences, even in the same industry. Furthermore, by conducting an analysis based on F-terms, it has been shown that dissimilarities exist in the focus of companies in the technological development of elements, even for those with identical innovation positions. This analytical method provides an original approach to comprehend technological linkages and innovation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Global Information Telecommunication Institute, Waseda University, Room 606, 55 South Building 3-4-1, Okubo, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8555, Japan., Email:

Publication date: 2009-06-01

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