A Patent Landscape of Biopolymer Innovation
In the context of the 5th TransitionLab2 Insights Session (July 15 2022), Jakob Hoffmann from Heidelberg University discussed global innovation trends in biopolymer development. Building on a sample of 174,813 patent families concerning 15 different biopolymers. The talk explored innovation in different technological fields and regional markets:
Emergence of biopolymers from their former niche in medical and pharmaceutical applications: While pharmaceuticals and medical applications are still major innovation contexts for biopolymers, the last 5-10 years have shown an emancipation from this niche, as indicated by an increasing number of patents related to material science and related fields, such as textiles & packaging.
High degree of polymer-specificity: While the medical sector is generally more diversified in terms of biopolymer variety, growth in material applications and especially fibrous materials and textiles is for now mainly due to strong growth in Cellulose and PLA.
Strong regional variation: Triggered at least in part by strong governmental incentives, China shows exponential growth in biopolymer patents, accompanied however by negative consequences for patent reach and quality.
Learn more and watch the 15-minute presentation here and download the full report below.