Exploring Technology evolution pathways to facilitate Technology management: A study of Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs)

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Conference Proceeding
PICMET 2016 - Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology: Technology Management For Social Innovation, Proceedings, 2017, pp. 764 - 776
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© 2016 Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology, Inc. Market competition drives attention to the prospects of New and Emerging Science & Technologies (NESTs), which are fast changing and, so far, have relatively limited applications. Technology evolution pathways, as a powerful representation of the development of technology, have caught researchers' interest as a tool to trace historical progression, explore knowledge diffusion, and forecast future NESTs trends. Citation analysis approaches are actively applied to structure a large number of patents, map patent distribution, and capture knowledge transfer and change in technologies or industries. This paper (1) introduces the indicator of connectivity and modularity in the interior citation network to identify the technology development stage; (2) takes family patent information into the process of building a comprehensive patent citation network; (3) extracts technological trajectories by applying integrated approaches of main path analyses, namely global main path analysis and global key-route main analysis, among different technological stages. We illustrate this approach with Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), as an example of a promising NEST, contributing to the remarkable growth in the renewable energy industry. The results show how our method can trace the main development trajectory of a research field and discern the technology focus to help decision-makers facilitate technology management.
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