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The measurement of technical performance of innovations by technometrics and its impact on established technology indicators

: Grupp, H.


Research policy 23 (1994), pp.175-193
ISSN: 0048-7333
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()
innovation; innovation dynamics; leading-edge product groups; output indicator; patent analysis; technometrics

It is more difficult, both theoretically and in practice, to record and analyse the returns from research, development (R&D) and innovation than it is to cover expenditures incurred in such activities. Therefore, it is suggested to embark on correlated system of output indicators of various types and to assess the state of the art in innovative product groups by direct technology specification measures ("technometrics") in intimate liaison with patent analysis. Peer evaluation and personal expertise are an essential addition to any science and technology progress indicator to bridge the inconsistencies and the lack of adaptation of the indicator systems with respect to reality. As the technometric approach is largely baded on expert interviews, the technometric indicators play a central role in validating any other science, technology and innovation indices. However, technometric time series data are very difficult to obtain and rather costly. A new type of patent indicator is, therefo re, introduced replacing direct technology measures more adequately than most of the established indicators. In the paper, the suggested indicators are applied to selected leading-edge product groups. Although an outline of the detailed case studies is not possible within this paper it is shown that the proposed type of measurement provides a consolidated and reliable picture of the innovation dynamics in industrialized countries, which can be put to use in terms of both individual enterprises or research institutions and the national economy.