Indian publications and patents output in Information and Communication Technology
Akshay Khatreja and V.K. Gupta
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is one of the vibrant sectors of the economy, which plays a significant role in promoting economic growth, expanding economic opportunities and providing employment. The increasing information intensity of economic activities, coupled with rapid technological changes has made ICT critical to competitiveness and growth. The internet, mobile telephoning, broadband networks, computers and computer networks, software and IT-enabled services have impacted a broad range of economic purposes. The development of new technologies and new products are the cornerstone of strengths of any nation in the field of ICT, of which R&D capacities are one of the central elements. The Indian ICT industry has expanded rapidly over past few years. The industry displays considerable variations in terms of technological development and performance. Trends in patents and publications reflect the innovative activity and hence they are the representative of the magnitude, direction and impact of knowledge. In this section, an attempt has been made to analyze Indian contributions in the field of ICT as reflected in terms of the publications and patents output.
For this purpose, the primary data on publications was obtained from Scopus database (http://www.scopus.com) and on patents from Delphion patent database (http://www.delphion.com). The Scopus is an abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and quality web sources with tools to analyze and visualize research in a particular field. It includes database from areas like life sciences, social sciences, health sciences and physical sciences and offers superior support to literature search process with fields like article title, abstract keywords, source title, affiliations etc. The Delphion database gives access to information on patents. The analysis of patent information may lead to patent intelligence and requisite knowledge to find solutions and deliver advanced innovations faster. The patent information can be leveraged to monitor technology trends, and to uncover market opportunities.
In the Scopus database, the search was made to obtain publications data by using respective keyword in one of the fields entitled `search for’ and India in another field entitled `corresponding affiliate address’. The keyword search was made in the fields of article title and abstract of the publication data for the period 1990 to 2007. The keywords information technology, communication technology, and information and communication technology were taken to obtain a broad coverage of data in ICT field. In addition, to obtain more specialized coverage of data in ICT field, further keywords were taken such as communication systems, database and software, cyber security, network management, wireless network, telecommunications, internet, mobile communication, data storage, microelectronics and image technology. These keywords indicatively highlighted the salient R&D and technological features within ICT. The data was cleaned by removing incomplete and not so relevant publications data e.g. duplicates, or publications not related to India. A set of 4,438 publications data was thus obtained for the present analysis.
In the Delphion database, patents were searched in the databases of patent offices, namely, European Patent Office (EPO), WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), INPADOC (International Patent Documentation Center), Abstracts of Japan, and in Granted German patents. The search for patents data was made by using the Boolean search: ’India’ was taken in the field entitled “inventor”, which gave the list of patents wherein at least one inventor was from India. This search was combined with the search of IPC codes in the field entitled “IPC code any-” wherein the IPC codes used for making search of patents relating to ICT were selected on the basis of the patent classifications and technological areas identified by EPO (www.epo.org). These included optical computing devices, electric digital data processing (G06F), computing calculating and counting (G06Q), information storage (G11B), transmission of digital information (H04L), electric communication technique (H04Q, H04R), telephonic communication (H04M), pictorial communication (H04N), broadcast communication (H04H), multiplex communication (H04J), basic electronic circuitry (H03B, H03F, H03H, H03K, H03L, H03M), image data processing (G06T), traffic control systems (G08G), computer systems based on specific computational models (G06N), recognition of data (G06K), printing, lining machines, typewriters (B41F, B41J), vehicles in general (B60N, B60R), basic electric elements (H01S), radio navigation (G01S), measuring and testing (G01B, G01F, G01K, G01N, G01R) and speech analysis and recognition (G10L). This resulted in a data set that included certain data not directly related to ICT or duplicates. The data were cleaned and a set of 742 patents was taken for the purpose of present analysis.
Fig 1. Year wise growth in number of publications.
Of the total 4438 publications output, 2540 (57.23%) are research articles and 1639 (36.93%) are papers presented in conferences. The remaining contributions include reviews, editorials, letters to editor, and short surveys. Figure 1 indicates the growth of Indian publications output in the field of ICT. The publication activity grew slowly during 1990 to 2001 and gradually picked up, thereafter, during 2002 – 2006 and showed a significant rise during 2007. The knowledge domain of significant contributions (more than 300 publications) includes the areas of communication systems, telecommunications, cyber security systems and network management.
The most productive academic institutions that have published nearly nine hundred publications (20 % of the total) include Indian Institutes of Technology (Delhi, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Powai, Roorkee, Chennai and Guwahati) and Indian Institute of Science. The other leading institutions include Anna University, Banaras Hindu University, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Delhi University, Indian Statistical Institute, Jadavpur University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Madurai Kamaraj University, Punjab University and several National Institutes of Technology.
Several government S&T institutions have also made notable contributions. These include the laboratories of CSIR viz. Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute, Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Institute of Microbial Technology, National Chemical Laboratory, National Institute of Oceanography and other government institutions like Bhabha Atomic Research Center, Center for Development of Advanced Computing, Defence Research and Development Organization and its laboratories, Department of Information Technology, Indian Space Research Institute, ISRO Satellite Center, Space Application Center, National Remote Sensing Agency, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
In the industry sector, the publications have broadly come from Indian players like Cadence Design Systems Pvt. Ltd., Infosys Technologies, Larsen and Toubro InfoTech Limited, Satyam Computer Services Ltd., Silicon Automation Systems Pvt. Ltd, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro Technologies. Indian authors have joint publications with authors from foreign academic or industrial firms. Some such foreign academic and industrial entities include Ohio State University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Toronto, Bell Labs, Hewlett Packard, Honeywell Technology Solutions Ltd., Hughes Software Systems, IBM Research laboratories and Texas Instruments.
Fig 2: Year wise growth in number of patents
The Indian patenting activity in the field of ICT has also grown slowly since 1990 but indicates a sudden spurt in growth during 2002-2007 (Figure 2). The major contributions to patents (40% of the total) have come from domestic Indian industries. The key players include firms like Vaman Technologies, Sasken Communication Technologies, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., Reliance Infocomm and Satyam Computer services Ltd. The government institutions contribute 11% of total number of patents. The major inputs have come from Centre for Development of Telematics, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Defence Research and Development Organization, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Information Technology, Department of Science and Technology and Department of Space. The academic institutions contributed nearly 5% of the total patents. The Indian Institutes of Technology (Kharagpur, Kanpur, Powai, Delhi, Roorkee and Chennai), Indian Institutes of Information Technology, Indian Statistical Institute and Indian Institute of Science have actively contributed in patenting activity. The Indian firms, government institutions and academic institutions jointly owned only a few patents (less than 2% of the total patents). The individual inventors owned 42% of the total patents.
The patenting activity indicates Indian strengths in certain key technological areas in ICT. These areas are: digital computing devices (G06F) - 289 patents (38.2% of the total), transmission (G08B, G08C, H04B, H04L) – 102 patents (13.7% of the total), communication (H04H, H04J, H04M, H04N, H04Q, H04R) – 66 patents (8.9% of the total) and computing, calculating and counting (G05B, G06E, G06J, G06K, G06N, G06Q, G11B) – 62 patents (8.3% of the total). There is a need to further strengthen India’s competence in applied and technological oriented R&D efforts in areas like electronic circuitry (G11C, H01S, H03B, H03F, H03H, H03K, H03L, H03M) – 27 patents (3.6% of the total), image data processing (G06T) – 18 patents (2.4% of the total) and cryptography (G09G) – 3 patents (.4%of the total).
Analysis of publication and patenting activity indicates growing Indian R&D and technological capacity in the field of ICT. Industrial firms have made contribution to the field of ICT by publications but they are more dominant in patenting activity. Tata Consultancy Services and Satyam Computers have contributed both by publications as well as patents. Government institutions belonging to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Department of Information Technology, Department of Space, Defence Research and Development Organization and academic institutions, particularly, the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institute of Science have made significant contributions. These institutions are indeed the fulcrum of India’s strengths in ICT. The highly productive areas of Indian publications include communication systems, cyber security systems and network management while its core strengths as indicated by patenting activity are in areas of digital computing devices, transmission of digital information, computing, calculating and counting.