Patterns of digital innovative activities in complex product industries: a patent analysis of the global automotive industry

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2020)


Despite the potential impact that the introduction of technologies enabling the so called “Forth Industrial Revolution” (4IR) may generate on complex-product industries (e.g. the aerospace or the automotive ones) in terms of productivity growth, competitive interaction and value chain reorganization, no study provides a comprehensive analysis of the knowledge base behind the 4IR in such context. To fill this gap, the paper maps and examines the evolution of 4IR industry knowledge base by reconstructing the portfolio of patent families of the top 25 automotive manufacturers over a 25-year period of analysis. The study shows the 4IR technologies’ development patterns in the global automotive industry and provides details on how the 4IR knowledge base and its evolution differ from more «traditional» automotive technologies along several dimensions, including the way actors organize their 4IR knowledge creation processes and protect the outcomes of such processes.


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