NARL develops research database to improve industry

FINDING THE LINK::The agency said it created the database to help the nation’s academic field understand the needs of the industrial sector

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 - Page 3

The National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL) yesterday said it has integrated data from international research databases and the US Patent Database to create an Intellectual Property Citation Index (IPCI) which can help link advanced research results to industrial development.

NARL director Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) said that when he visited AT&T’s Bell Laboratories several years ago, several of the laboratory’s engineers told him they were studying his research publications to apply the technology into a picture-phone they were developing at the time.

He said that when he returned to Taiwan, he noticed that AT&T’s picture-phone was sold for more than NT$30,000 per handset.

Chen said he realized that research was being done in Taiwan, but the results were being used by the world’s best companies in other countries, and then sold back to Taiwan.

“Although the number of Taiwanese research publications and publication citations is high, somehow the profits of the related industries have not improved significantly,” he said.

“We wanted to figure out whether my experience with the picture-phone was just an individual case or a general phenomenon,” he said.

The IPCI was created to better understand the input of advanced research results into related industries and has collected the data of more than 4.39 million US patents registered between 1976 and last year and the science research publications in Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science.

Through analysis of the IPCI, Fan Chin-yuan (樊晉源), associate research fellow at NARL’s Policy Research Division, said the influence of the nation’s research results on the development of the overseas business sector has increased.

Fan said that 496 Taiwanese research citations were used in US patents in 2001, increasing to 3827 citations last year.

The index also showed that Taiwan ranked about 15th in the percentage of research result citations used in US patents, showing the quality of Taiwan’s advanced research, he said.

Lin Bou-wen (林博文), director of NARL’s Science and Technology Policy Research and Information Center, said NARL hopes the index will help Taiwanese companies recognize the quality and input potential of domestic academic research and help the academic field to better understand how to link research results to the needs of the industrial sector.