New Tools for Science Policy

Patent Data & Publicly-Funded Research: Applications, Benefits, & Misuse

How does the public benefit from public investment in research and development?

About the Seminar

October 30, 2023 9:00am—10:00am

How does the public benefit from public investment in research and development?  While there is broad agreement that new technologies have significant social and economic impact, tracing technologies back to federally funded research is challenging. To measure benefits, funding agencies, the national labs, and others often look to patent data. Recently, economists and legal scholars have raised questions about conventional measures (including simple patent counts and patent citations) linking public R&D to patents, and linking patents to social outcomes. On October 30th, Bhaven Sampat will review these concerns, and also describe and assess several new advances in patent bibliometrics that aim to overcome them.

Bhaven N. Sampat is an economist by training, and a Professor in Arizona State University’s (ASU’s) School for the Future of Innovation in Society and School of Public Affairs, and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).  He is a founding member of NBER’s Innovation Information Initiative (I3), a data collaborative for open innovation data and related analytics, tools, & metrics (

Sampat’s research focuses on the economics and political economy of innovation and innovation policy. Among other topics, he has studied US and global life science patent policy, the politics and economics of publicly funded science, the roles of the government in pharmaceutical innovation, the economic history of the US biomedical research enterprise, and the use of patent data as economic indicators.

Sampat was formerly an assistant, associate, and full professor at the Department of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. He joined ASU in 2023, and is based at Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes  (CSPO) in Washington DC.

Location Information

ASU Barrett & O’Connor Center
1800 I St NW
8th Floor
Washington, DC 20006