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Nicoletta Corrocher (Bocconi University)

19 March 2024 @ 12:30 - 13:30


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19 March 2024
12:30 - 13:30
Event Category:
Academic Events

The determinants of science-based green patents

Abstract.  Policymakers have for a long time considered science as the main source of knowledge that would ultimately contribute to the emergence of new technical and organizational capabilities, improvements in quality of life, and economic growth. While funding for science has been growing in both advanced and emerging economies, the rate of technological change seems to be declining in recent years. This puzzle has led to a resurgence of interest in the importance of science for innovation. The topic is particularly important regarding the challenges represented by climate change and the need for technological innovations that contrast the negative consequences of this phenomenon. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between science and green technological innovations, to understand to what extent green patents build upon scientific knowledge and what are the most relevant characteristics of science-based green patents. We reconstruct the citation network of green patents to scientific papers and then we illustrate the main features of science-based green patents in terms of their impact, diversity, geographical distribution, institutional origin and time-dynamic. Our findings show that a relatively large share of green patents is linked to scientific outputs, even if indirectly. Furthermore, green patents that build on scientific discoveries are found to be widely cited and are mostly developed by universities or government-related organizations. Finally, we show that countries leading in green patents also lead in science-based green patents. Interestingly, this is also the case for emerging green tech leaders, such as China and Korea. We test the predictive power of our findings by using a machine learning methodology, which confirms our main results, but highlights also that science-based green patents are characterized by a high percentage of citations to green patents.