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Patents as potential indicators of the utility of EC research programmes

: Kuntze, U.; Schmoch, U.; Grupp, H.

European Commission:
International Conference on Indicators for the Evaluation of the Impact of European Research Programmes '90. Proceedings
Brussels, 1990
International Conference on Indicators for the Evaluation of the Impact of European Research Programmes <1990, Paris>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer ISI ()
EC programme impact; Europäische Gemeinschaft; European research programme; evaluation; evaluation indicator; evaluation panel; Evaluierung; patent statistic; Patentindikator

In the framework of the MONITOR-SPEAR programme of the Commission of the European Communities a critical review of the literature with regard to the utility of patent indicators being in use for evaluation world-wide has been undertaken. Availability, scope and complementary of these indicators are discussed. A practical tool to use patent indicators for evaluation committees of EC programmes is designed and recommendations for EC procedures are given. The suggested procedures will be implemented a longside three sample exercises. One of the exercise programmes is science-led (BEP and BAP), one industry-led (BRITE I) and one interphase (MHR). In this paper only selected examples with respect to the MHR programme are outlined and discussed. The project is not completed yet and only preliminary findings will be given in this paper. From the viewpoint of its present state it is concluded that patent indicators may play a very useful role within a mixed set of evaluation procedures. The in tersection with other methods is not very large, that is, patent indicators may provide supplementary information to a large extent. However, their use is limited to those types of programmes which are relevant for intellectual property rights mostly in the commercial realm. Patent indicators share with other evaluation tools the problem of best adjustment of time windows between observation and execution of the programme. Despite of these limitations, patent indicatores may be employed properly as output indicators related to ongoing EC programmes, but as well for prospective analysis of applied fields of R and D and may thus help in the definition phase of new R and D programmes.