Science & Technology Innovation Concept Knowledge-base

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This project overcomes the bias in the Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP) towards popular or ultimately successful innovations by providing the much needed data and tools for analyzing innovations of all possible outcomes. This comprehensive endeavor enables SciSIP researchers to build and test theories that explain the differentiated trajectories of science and technology innovations and their associated communities. The project also spans disciplinary boundaries by bridging the artificial divide in SciSIP research between the production and the use of innovations, piecing together a holistic view of the dynamic supply and demand in the innovation ecosystem. Specifically, the project builds a large-scale, multi-source, longitudinal database, Science & Technology Innovation Concept Knowledge-base (STICK), and develops a set of visual analytic tools for monitoring and understanding the emergence and revolution/evolution of innovations in three exemplar science and technology fields: information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

The knowledge-base captures innovations, the individual and organizational actors associated with the innovations, and the relationships among the innovations and the actors through a hybrid approach that combines computational analysis of text (e.g., natural language processing) and social information processing (e.g., social tagging and collaborative writing by the users of the knowledge-base). State-of-the-art visualization tools are customized for SciSIP researchers and other innovation stakeholders to visualize innovation networks and analyze patterns and trends. The design of the knowledge-base and toolset is grounded in a demonstration study on the popularity of innovations. The study aims to address important questions concerning the complex relationships among innovations and the evolution of communities, with implications to the popularity and ultimate success of innovations.

Broader Impacts: STICK is institutionalized at the University of Maryland at College Park as a free public service that offers web access to the data and tools developed in this project. This service also produces quarterly reports on the status of science and technology innovations, including the National Innovation Popularity Index, analogous to the Consumer Confidence Index for the state of the economy. This research-based service is an intuitive tool for science and technology education. For most fields where specialization is the theme nowadays, students' and the public's interests increase with the capability to monitor and make sense of the fast-changing arenas where innovations emerge, converge, and diverge. For scientists and engineers, STICK's visual analytic toolset helps accelerate scientific discoveries and innovations by identifying and establishing collaborations within and across innovation communities. Finally, STICK helps science and technology policy makers monitor and understand the evolutionary paths of innovations, appraise the significance of innovations in rigorously charted terrains, and proactively foster, promote, and advance innovations with benefits to the society.

This project is supported by the National Science Foundation, Award Number 0915645 under the Science of Science and Innovation Policy program.

Last updated September 2, 2009