Recently, we applied the LexisNexis® PatentSight® Patent Asset Index methodology to gain a new insight into Israeli innovation and which of Israel’s research bodies are leading in innovation. The index assesses the strength of an organization’s patent portfolio in terms of quality of patents held measured by Technology Relevance and Market Coverage. So, what did we find?
The overall analysis reveals some constants over the past eighteen years; namely, that Tel Aviv and Technion have both enjoyed consistent growth in their active patent portfolios, while Ben-Gurion University has grown at a slower rate.
Quality and quantity differ
What’s also clear is that with the exception of Ben-Gurion, all the research institutions we reviewed have a similar portfolio size. However, quantity and quality are of course two very different things, and in respect of the latter our analysis reveals three clear front-runners.
Share of global top 10% patents
The Hebrew University, the Weizmann Institute and Tel Aviv University, have around 40% of their patents within the top 10% of global patents in terms of innovation impact. This is a highly impressive figure. By contrast, just 15% of the patents held by Ben-Gurion and Technion meet this quality benchmark. So, while Technion might have the highest volume of patents, the real innovation leader is the Hebrew University as it holds the larger number of high-quality patents.
More technology companies citing Israeli research organizations
Israel is building a global reputation as an innovation leader for the technology industry, and this trend is reflected in our research. Israeli research institutions have historically been important for the pharmaceutical and chemicals industries. While medical and chemical patent classes still comprise the majority of those owned by Israeli institutions, we are seeing important new patents being developed around electronic technologies. Additionally, when we look at which companies are citing the research organizations we assessed, there’s a clear trend away from pharma/chemicals companies like DowDuPont and Merck KGaA, to technology companies such as Samsung and IBM.
Israeli innovation and Israel’s position as a global technology innovation center is now well established. Around 117 companies from 21 countries have opened R&D centers in Israel since the start of 2014, while it’s thriving startup ecosystem now totals around 6,000 organizations. What’s clear is that Israel’s universities will play an increasingly important role in fueling this innovation.
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