Measuring Science-Technology Interaction in the
MARTIN S. MEYER
Economic activity has become increasingly technology-driven and knowledgebased. However, firms see themselves exposed to an environment of technological uncertainty and an increasing division of labor in the generation of knowledge. Increasing knowledge specialization appears to push firms, and also other organizations, to increase their reliance on a combination of in-house and contract R&D (Brusoni et al., 2000; Grandstrand et al., 1997; Langlois, 1992). Universities, on the other side, become more and more entrepreneurial in their orientation. At least in certain technological areas, directly useful knowledge and inventions are now spun off from universities (Pavitt, 2003). These insights concur with research that is related to the emergence of the entrepreneurial university (Etzkowitz, 2003).
The different forms of direct and indirect contributions science makes to technology, and vice versa, pose challenges to the measurement of sciencetechnology exchange. There have been a number of different approaches to explore the link between science and technology in a quantitative and especially bibliometric manner. The preferred method is patent citation analysis (Smith, 1998). Francis Narin pioneered this approach with his colleagues at CHI Research. Essentially, they tracked patent citations of scientific research papers that could be related to publicly funded research (Narin et al., 1995, 1997).
There has been a debate about the nature of patent citations and how one should interpret the links they established (Meyer, 2000a). This chapter will review this ongoing debate in more detail. In addition, alternative approaches to