Research and innovation in artificial intelligence (AI) in the power industry operations and technologies sector has declined in the last year. The most recent figures show that the number of AI-related patent applications in the industry stood at 84 in the three months ending January – down from 191 over the same period in 2020.

Figures for patent grants related to AI followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 64 in the three months ending January 2020 to 10 in the same period in 2021.

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.

AI 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.

Siemens was the top AI innovator in the power industry operations and technologies sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in Germany, filed 51 AI-related patents in the three months ending January. That was down from 125 over the same period in 2020.

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It was followed by the US-based Honeywell International with 21 AI patent applications, South Korea-based Korea Electric Power (19 applications), and the US-based 3M (10 applications).

Korea Electric Power has recently ramped up R&D in AI. It saw growth of 68.4% in related patent applications in the three months ending January compared to the same period in 2020 – the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked, with more than 10 quarterly patents in the power industry operations and technologies sector.