Yarn Labs

To enable research on the innovation process, from initial funding through economic impacts, by compiling, linking, and documenting comprehensive datasets about patents and patenting

  • Amount $1,633,681
  • City Cambridge, MA
  • Investigator Adam Jaffe
  • Year 2019
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance

Progress in understanding the relationship between basic research and economic growth requires high-quality data on patents and patenting. Barriers to acquiring, cleaning, and sharing such data remain a significant hurdle to conducting empirical research on a wide range of topics, including the return on investment to basic science investment, the productivity of scientific teams, regulatory impacts on patenting and innovation, and much more. This grant provides funding to the “Innovation Information Initiative,” or I3, a collaborative project to build a linked series of state-of-the-art, open databases that make high-quality patent data easily available to researchers. Led by Yarn Labs, a not-for-profit spin off of the MIT Media Lab, the project will clean and document existing sources of patent data; create new data products that include a catalog of links between patents and products; disambiguate authors, institutions, funders, and titles; and compile patent citations to the scholarly literature. To facilitate use of these new resources, the team will develop user-friendly interfaces and a series of models, algorithms, and other analysis tools. Outreach plans include organizing an annual research meeting alongside the NBER Summer Institute; an annual meeting to coordinate technical matters; and fellowships for Ph.D. students interested in the rigorous study of patenting.

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