BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    The material basis of modern technologies. A case study on rare metals

    Yunxiong Li, G. and Ascani, A. and Iammarino, S. (2022) The material basis of modern technologies. A case study on rare metals. Working Paper. Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK.

    47608.pdf - Published Version of Record

    Download (1MB) | Preview


    The unique properties of a wide range of Rare Metals (RMs) are crucial to achieve the functionality of modern technologies. By text mining 5,146,615 USPTO patents during the period 1976-2015, this paper systematically studies the technological dependence of new inventions on 13 key RMs, with the aim of exploring the link between critical raw materials and frontier technological innovation. We find that RMs play an increasing role as the material basis for modern technologies: the dependence varies significantly across technological areas and metal types, and it is particularly high for some emerging technologies such as semiconductors, nanotechnology, and green energy technologies. Further, we use a panel of technology-RM pairs over four decades to assess the impact of RM supply on innovation dynamics. The results show that increases in the supply of an RM significantly improve the patent output of technology areas based on it, contributing to the understanding of how innovation dynamics are shaped by the availability of natural resources with technological criticality.


    Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
    Additional Information: CIMR Working Paper no.59, ISSN: 2052-062X
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Critical raw materials, Rare metals, Technological dynamics, Patent text mining, Instrumental variables estimation.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Research Centres and Institutes: Innovation Management Research, Birkbeck Centre for
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2022 10:20
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:15


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item