Geography of R&D and patenting in US biofuels

Authors: Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen*, SUNY-Buffalo, Peter Kedron, Oklahoma State University, Dieter Kogler, University College Dublin
Topics: Economic Geography
Keywords: patenting, innovation, bioenergy, biofuels
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Regent, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Extensive work has been undertaken on the geography of patenting in the United States. Capitalizing on the variety of data contained in patent applications, prior studies have alternatively analyzed technological development in different industrial sectors, diffusion of technologies among sectors, and the impact highly influential patents have on economic performance. Across these studies, patents are used to capture and represent inventions and, more broadly, spatial patterns of innovation. In this paper, we use patent data to analyze spatial patterns of biofuel innovation within the United States and their relationship to related firm and industrial geographies. Specifically, we examine the spatial evolution of biofuel patenting during a 35 year period spanning 1975-2010 by identifying spatial clusters of research and development activity and tracking their variation with the evolution of key production technologies. We use technology class information to analyze how the firms most active in industry invention combine different forms of knowledge to reshape patterns of biofuel innovation. Within the United States, biofuel accounts for a significant portion of renewable energy production. Understanding spatial and firm-level patterns of biofuel R&D, in addition to patenting, is of interest to stakeholders working to expand renewable energy production and shift biofuel production to new technological alternatives.

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