Diplomat contributor Mercy Kuo regularly draws on subject matter experts, policy practitioners, and strategists from around the world for their diverse insights into US policy in Asia. This conversation with Dr. Richard Silberglitt – Senior Fellow and Professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, RAND Corporation– ranked 326th in the “Trans-Pacific View Insight Series”.
Identify your collaborator’s top three takeaways report, Using predictive analytics to evaluate technology innovations and acquisition targets. ”
From 1990 to 2017, the United States led — the first country to emerge — in far more technological accidents than any other country in six common technical areas of interest to the Department of the Air Force: additive manufacturing (AM). , artificial intelligence (AI), ceramics, quantum and sensors.
When the emergence of China occurs after the emergence of the US, i.e. China is the follower, the time lag between the onset of emergence in the two countries is much longer than for the much smaller number of emergencies in which China is first and the US states follow.
Technological emergencies in China occur much faster than in the United States, and in the most recent time period studied (2009-2017), there were more early patent filings in China (i.e., within the first two years of occurrence), than to the United States for emergencies in six common technical areas studied that occur within three years of each other in the two countries.
Explain the report’s methodology and the role of US and Chinese patent applications and filings in measuring technology emergencies and acquisition targets.
We identified technology emergencies by detecting a rapid increase in the cumulative number of patent applications filed in specific technical fields using a large data set that includes all international patent applications and granted patents since 2001. We have labeled the country where the occurrence first emerged as the “technological leader” in that particular technical field because it is most likely the home of the inventors, and its patent applicants are often leaders in the most important applications of that technology. When an emergence occurs in the same specific technical area that we define under the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) scheme later in another country, we designate that country as a “follower”.
We compared the years of occurrence between the US and China for all emergencies between 2001 and 2017 in the six common technical areas studied to determine who was the leader and who was the follower. Organizations that have the earliest patent applications in a country that is a “technology leader” may be attractive acquisition targets, especially if their patent applications are filed in more than one occurrence, suggesting the potential application of new technology in one location. or more different new technology areas.
Compare and contrast the technological leadership and comparative advantage of the US and China.
The United States is a “technology leader” many times more than any other country in the six general technical areas studied over the entire study period (1990-2017). When the US and China appear in the same specific tech field, the US is a “technology leader” many times more than China. For the smaller number of cases where China is a “technology leader” and the US is a “follower”, the time between the appearance of a leader and a follower is much shorter than when China is a “follower”, suggesting that over time the period in the studied common technical areas, the US was in a stronger position when it was a technological “follower” than China was when it was a technological “follower”.
Explore international patent trends and the trajectory of US-China technology competition.
We conducted a detailed comparison of U.S. and Chinese patent applications in a small number of specific technical areas with emergencies (2 percent of total occurrences) in which U.S. and Chinese appearances occur within 1-3 years of each other, which we refer to as ” near emergencies. For these critical situations, we found a time difference when comparing the number of early patent applications in the US and China:
- From 2001 to 2008, most of the first patent applications in critical situations in the studied general technical fields were filed in the United States.
- Between 2009 and 2017, the number of close emergencies in which China accounts for the majority of early patent filings is greater than the number of close emergencies in which the US has the most early patent filings in all six general technical areas studied.
Assess the policy implications of the report’s findings and recommendations for US policymakers and industry leaders.
While the US continues to be a “technology leader” in general technology areas studied, China has filed more early patent applications in recent years than the US in specific technical fields, for which the US and China appear within 1-3 years in each. them. others (“near emergencies”). In order to properly assess technological leadership in these specific technical areas, US policymakers and industry leaders must conduct a detailed comparative analysis of the quality of patent applications and products in the global market of first applicants in the US and China.
In order to identify specific technology areas in which the US is a “technology leader” and there are US companies with cutting-edge technological capabilities that could make them attractive for potential overseas acquisitions, US policymakers and industry leaders should examine organizations with early patent filings that are early. more than one occurrence, which suggests the potential application of the new technology in one or more different new technology areas.