Taiwan ranks fifth globally in the number of patents acquired in the U.S., according to a technological competitiveness report published Oct. 13 by Taipei City-based National Applied Research Laboratories.
For the period 2009 to 2013, Taiwan obtained more than 40,000 patents in the U.S., or 3.62 percent of the total number granted. The patents were primarily in the fields of audiovisual technologies, electronics, energy generation, optical devices and semiconductors.
The figure put Taiwan behind the U.S., Japan, South Korea and Germany in that order. However, in terms of technological influence, Taiwan outperformed the latter two countries, according to the NARL report.
Technological influence is determined by comparing the citation frequency of a nation’s patents with the global average. According to Chang Shu-hao, an associate research fellow at NARL’s Science and Technology Policy Research and Information Center, Taiwan achieved a high rate of citations due to its expertise in the development of machine tools and Productivity 4.0 technologies.
“Although only 700-plus homegrown patents were filed for machine tools during the five-year period, the number of citations was remarkably high,” Chang said.
He added that Taiwan is increasing its capabilities in the area of data processing, which spans cloud computing, data mining, the Internet of Things and system integration, as evidenced by the country’s new Productivity 4.0 initiative.
The program was launched this month by the Cabinet to help boost the nation’s ICT-based economy. Given Taiwan’s success in pioneering technological innovations, it is hoped this initiative will advance local industrial upgrade and create new products tailored to meet the needs of consumers in the 21st century.
The NARL report also measured academic research capacity, finding that Taiwan ranked 16th globally in the number of academic papers published from 2009 to 2013. The nation averaged 1,198 papers per million people, placing it ahead of Japan, South Korea and mainland China in Asia, according to the study.
Analyzing academic paper citations, the report found Taiwan has world-leading expertise in agricultural research, and is exhibiting stable development in the fields of chemistry, earth science and mathematics. (YHC-CM)