Research and analysis

Disruptive technology: a toolkit

Are patents a useful tool for assessing the potential of science-intensive, emerging disruptive technologies?


Disruptive technology: a toolkit

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


Technologies can be characterised through exhibited patent characteristics.

Previous work has developed a prototype toolkit for characterising potentially disruptive technologies using patent indicators, based on patent data relating to Light Emitting Polymers.

This paper describes developing the toolkit to be applied to science-intensive technologies which are visible to horizon-scanning, but not yet widely developed such that opportunities for application and commercialisation may still be unclear, to produce an output score indicative of disruptive potential.

Published 5 July 2010