Tag Archives: articles

Canada’s published nano articles (part 3)…patents

The numbers of either articles or patents or both produced by one country or another suggest something about that country’s level of activity.  I am brutally summarizing some of M. Fatih Yegul’s data,  which will be presented at PICMET ’08 (www.picmet.org) in South Africa in late July and published in the proceedings under the title “Nanotechnology: Canada’s Position in Scientific Publications and Patents,” notes that Canada ranks 16th (just after Austria) in one study which examined global patent databases covering a 10 year period (1994 to 2004). That study listed the US as the leader with over 6700 patents while Canada registered slightly fewer than 100.

Two studies which focus on the patents filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) show Canada as ranking fifth overall. I guess a significant number of researchers don’t file their patents in the US hence the lower ranking when worldwide databases are used.  Interestingly, Canadians file more patents with the USPTO than they do with its Canadian counterpart.

There’s some information about the number of Canadian patents that get cited internationally, apparently we rank highly on that kind of an index especially with medical and biotechnology-related nanotechnology. (Aside: I love how the biotech guys are shifting their brand to nanotechnology. I’m not sure that’s going to help their problem, which is more profound than bad publicity associated with the old name.)

It’s all pretty interesting including the suggestion (based on a study that showed Canada as ranking 6th in numbers of science articles published from 1995-2005) that Canada is performing below its own average with regard to nanotechnology research.  There are no unequivocal conclusions to be had from all this data although I did get the impression that Canadians (whether you consider the level of scientific interest or government support) haven’t gotten that interested in nanotechnology yet.

Canada’s nano article numbers (part 1) and what happened to Martha Cook Piper?

M. Fatih Yegul (University of Waterloo) sent me info. about  his latest paper titled: “Nanotechnology: Canada’s Position in Scientific Publications and Patents” in answer to my question about numbers of articles published by Canadian researchers (as per my June 12 posting about the June 2008 editorial in Nature Nanotechnology’s analysis of various countries). He’ll be presenting his paper at the PICMET ’08 Conference in South Africa (website is www.picmet.org or click here) which will be published in the proceedings afterwards.

Yegul provides a very nice description of nanotechnology and its brief history and summarizes some of the policy issues succinctly. His quotes from multiple sources pointing out that Canada lacks a national nanotech strategy or coordination of effort confirmed my dawning suspicions. (I’ve been trying to find something definitive about Canadian nano for the last 1.5 years but most of the material is out of date and scattered wildly over various websites.)

I’ll talk about the numbers (some of them) tomorrow as Yegul has sliced and diced through a number of studies about published articles and patents and as you’d expect there are competing methodologies and acronyms that are unfamiliar to me.

Meanwhile, there was an announcement about Martha Cook Piper’s appointment to the Board of Trustees of the [Canada] National Institute of Nanotechnology (NINT) in April 2008 (see here).  Strangely, she’s not listed on the NINT website. You can find her predecessor, Preston Manning still listed (here), but no Martha. In fact, if you visit the website newsroom (here), you’ll find there’s no mention of her appointment or news of any kind since Sept. 2007. Hmmm….