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Discussing Tech Mining methods in Atlanta

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), the partner of HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge in various projects, organized Global TechMining Conference and Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy. Ozcan Saritas, Nadezhda Mikova and Pavel Bakhtin, researchers of  HSE ISSEK International Foresight Centre, took part in conferences with the presentation of their own research.

During the first day of technology mining conference, participants discussed challenges associated with the constant growth of science and technology related information (scientific publications, patents, grant texts, conference abstracts and other sources including Web), quantitative methods for data processing, analysis, visualization and interpretation. The subject of discussion was the use of extracted knowledge to support the decision-making process in the private and public sectors, to assess efficiency of science, technology and innovation policies and plan further development of technology.

Fundamental research, demonstrated during various presentations, aimed at improving quantitative methods of analysis for tech mining through the use of topic modeling, analysis of linguistic patterns, support vector machine (svm) and other supervised and unsupervised machine learning methods. A number of researchers demonstrated practical results of the application of tech mining methods for relevant thematic areas. The hottest topics were the the results of analysis for pharmaceutical industry, solar energy, biomedicine, nanotechnology and additive technologies.

Professor Alan Porter of Georgia Tech, one of the founders of “tech mining” and conference organizer, demonstrated application of tech mining methodology for validation of technology roadmaps and forecasts generated within the framework of NASA nanotechnology roadmap using the case of nanocomposite coatings. Along with other researchers he identified areas where the nanocomposite coatings could achieve the desired level of development in the next 10-15 years (for example, in terms of being thermally stable and having high-temperature tribological applications). He also found a number of properties which were not covered by patents or publications (for example, in terms of adhesion properties and ice-phobicity), indicating a potential risk of failure to implement a whole series of products at the appointed time.

Organizational processes of technology mining were also discussed. Representatives of the National Science Library of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) discussed about the application of methods of technology mining and scientometrics to periodically provide services for CAS Institutes in various thematic areas. Similar services were told to be provided worldwide for organizations of the National Science Foundation (NSF, USA) and for private sector.

Representatives of Laboratory for Science and Technology Studies ISSEK HSE also took part in the Global TechMining Conference. Nadezhda Mikova presented a report on the main directions of development of tech mining methods in terms of sources of analysis and software tools to monitor trends. In addition to theoretical and practical results presented in the study the speaker also demonstrated monthly issues of ISSEK’s trendletters. The audience expressed the great interest in acquiring the materials in English.

Pavel Bakhtin and Ozcan Saritas presented the methodology for the quantitative analysis of trends using technology mining, bibliometrics, semantic analysis (namely, Subject Action Object analysis, SAO) and dynamic clustering of terms based on their correlation in time. The field of Photonics was chosen as the case for the analysis and practical implementation of the proposed approach. The presentation led to a constructive discussion between colleagues: trends identified in Photonics correlated well with trends identified in the area of Solar Energy in the studies of other colleagues.

During the other days of the conference participants discussed the changing dynamics of scientific research and collaboration, improved bibliometric methods and evaluative mechanisms to assess research productivity and impacts. Big interest was aroused by the reviews of the national innovation systems of Brazil, China and other countries, as well as the assessment of the impact of changes in patent policy in the United States. Much attention was also given to indicators that demonstrate the success of various programs and policies in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation.

During one of the evenings the participants were invited to visit the "World of coke" center, where the story of the development of the recipe of the famous beverage and the evolution of its shape bottles was told. Guests were also provided an access to the "secret vault" and offered to try tastes of the beverage intended for different countries.

Besides the researchers from ISSEK HSE, the Russian delegation was also represented by Aleksey Gusev, head of Ecosystem Monitoring Service of "Russian venture company" (RVC). The company acts as one of the development institutions of the Russian Federation and is a partner of ISSEK HSE on a number of activities (including dissemination of monthly issues of trendletters). The organization was interested in sharing experience with representatives of developing countries on the development of innovation systems for various sectors of the economy.

By Pavel Bakhtin