ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research

04/22/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/22/2024 02:20

USA Maintains Lead over China in Key Technologies // ZEW Study on Technology Sovereignty and Dependencies

ZEW Study on Technology Sovereignty and Dependencies

US patents not only receive more ISR citations but also have a stronger influence in all geographic and technological areas.

The United States continues to lead in the technology sector, despite China filing more patents through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) since 2019. However, China's focus on quantity over quality in patent applications has not resulted in inventions with significant global impact. Additionally, the People's Republic is more dependent on technologies from other regions and is therefore unlikely to take over technological leadership from the US. These are the findings of a study conducted by ZEW Mannheim, Goethe University Frankfurt, and the IÉSEG School of Management Paris on the technological sovereignty of Europe, the US, China, Japan, and Korea, based on PCT system data.

"Current global events pose a challenge for China. While the country has made significant progress in the number and influence of inventions, it still depends on other regions and actors," says Professor Philipp Böing, a researcher in ZEW's "Economics of Innovation and Business Dynamics" Unit. "For Europe, it is strategically beneficial to collaborate with leading technology nations such as the US, Japan, and Korea while reducing dependencies. Policymakers should focus on promoting key technologies, where Europe has already gained advantages. Simultaneously, Europe should avoid future dependencies on Chinese innovations."