Breakthrough innovations significantly depart from common practices and can potentially reshape existing markets, create new markets, and prompt the emergence of new technological trajectories. The crucial role that breakthrough innovations play in technological progress has stimulated a lively line of research investigating methods to identify them in actual empirical contexts. Despite this ongoing effort, the availability of data on breakthrough innovations is still scarce and seems to have prevented, at least so far, an integrated perspective comprising both their technical and economic significance. We address this limitation by developing a method that uses award-winning innovations which have been successfully commercialized to find breakthrough patents on a large scale. For the period 1976–2013, in a sample of 138,467 USPTO patents, we identify 17,176 breakthrough innovations. Relevant robustness checks support the validity of our classification. We then exploit this sample to assess the sources of breakthrough innovations.

Breakthrough innovations and where to find them

Capponi G.
;
Martinelli A.;Nuvolari A.
2021

Abstract

Breakthrough innovations significantly depart from common practices and can potentially reshape existing markets, create new markets, and prompt the emergence of new technological trajectories. The crucial role that breakthrough innovations play in technological progress has stimulated a lively line of research investigating methods to identify them in actual empirical contexts. Despite this ongoing effort, the availability of data on breakthrough innovations is still scarce and seems to have prevented, at least so far, an integrated perspective comprising both their technical and economic significance. We address this limitation by developing a method that uses award-winning innovations which have been successfully commercialized to find breakthrough patents on a large scale. For the period 1976–2013, in a sample of 138,467 USPTO patents, we identify 17,176 breakthrough innovations. Relevant robustness checks support the validity of our classification. We then exploit this sample to assess the sources of breakthrough innovations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/540023
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