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July 1, 2022updated 27 Jun 2022 10:55am

Smart materials innovation among power industry companies has dropped off in the last year

Analysis of patent filings shows a shrinking level of smart materials related applications in the industry over the past year

By Data Journalism Team

Research and innovation in smart materials in the power industry operations and technologies sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of smart materials related patent applications in the industry stood at 84 in the three months ending April – down from 95 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to smart materials followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 68 in the three months ending April 2021 to 38 in the same period in 2022.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, which tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

Smart materials is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from. The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Canadian Solar Inc was the top smart materials innovator in the power industry operations and technologies sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in Canada, filed 16 smart materials-related patents in the three months ending April. That was up from 14 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the China based Sungrow Power Supply with 16 smart materials patent applications, Israel based SolarEdge Technologies (12 applications), and France based Electricite de France (6 applications).

SolarEdge Technologies has recently ramped up R&D in smart materials. It saw growth of 33.3% in related patent applications in the three months ending April compared to the same period in 2021 – the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the power industry operations and technologies sector.

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