The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) or technology to which the patent family is mapped. The technology fields based on the UN SDGs are created and updated by PatentSight and have two levels of hierarchy: the goals and the underlying technologies. Each of the 17 goals (e.g., “SDG 13: Climate Action”) includes all patent families that are mapped to the underlying technologies of this goal (e.g., “T 054: Ocean Energy”). The patent families related to each technology are identified by searches that use a combination of technology classifications (IPC, CPC, F-terms) and keywords.
PatentSight aims to standardize the process of sustainability assessment of ongoing innovation. We have objectively mapped patents that are explicitly related to the targets and indicators mentioned in each of the UN SDGs to establish a logical, transparent methodology to assess the sustainability compliance of entities from the perspective of patents. Considering that applying and maintaining patents incur monetary investment, PatentSight highlights the business focus of entities that are active in the field of sustainability compliant patents.
The methodology to establish a link between the UN SDGs and the patent data is based on the framework provided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda provides 231 unique indicators for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It mentions that these are global in nature and are universally applicable and complemented by indicators at the regional and national levels (developed by the UN Member States).
The indicators that are supposed to be used for tracking the progress towards the attainment of the SDGs can be mapped to advancements in science and technology as expressed through patentable inventions. The criteria for patents are defined by territorial laws, whereas the science and technologies protected by the patents are universal. This is in alignment with the UN SDG framework where the global perspective is supposed to be implemented at the national level.
The UN SDGs
Based on the methodology described above, the PatentSight Business Intelligence offers 17 technology fields mapped to patent families that are thus associated with the UN SDGs.
The technology fields are named after the UN SDGs:
SDG 01: No Poverty
SDG 02: Zero Hunger
SDG 03: Good health and well-being
SDG 04: Quality education
SDG 05: Gender equality
SDG 06: Clean water and sanitation
SDG 07: Affordable and clean energy
SDG 08: Decent work and economic growth*
SDG 09: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
SDG 10: Reduced inequality
SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
SDG 13: Climate action
SDG 14: Life below water
SDG 15: Life on land
SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions*
SDG 17: Partnership for the goals*
* Not mapped to patents yet.
For further information on the individual goals please refer to: https://sdgs.un.org/goals
The Underlying Technologies of the UN SDGs
All UN SDGs come with underlying technologies that were mapped to the UN SDG targets and indicators. A unique identifier (e.g., "T 079" for "Sustainable Packaging") was added to each underlying technology. The three-digit number in the identifier is based on the 97 technologies that were implemented first. All future technologies will be added to the count (e.g., the next technology implemented will have the identifier "T 098"). This unique identifier helps to not only find technologies quickly but also allows to reference them in the syntax search.
The technology fields based on the UN SDGs each come with a factsheet in PDF format available for download. Each factsheet includes a detailed explanation of the respective UN SDG and an overview of the related UN SDG targets and indicators that define the search topics used for the patent mapping. By clicking on any of the SDG-related technology fields displayed in any chart, table, or in the search panel, you can open its context menu. Click on the PDF icon displayed in the context menu to download the PDF factsheet.
How to Use the UN SDGs
How to Use the UN SDGs Search Field
You can use the UN SDGs and the underlying technology fields in the search panel as search fields to narrow down your search results to patent families related to an SDG of interest.
Click on the "More" icon to access all available search fields
|Access the section "Technology." Alternatively, enter "SDG" into the search box in the "Add Search Field" dialog.
Select the search field "UN SDGs"
Click on the drop-down icon displayed next to an SDG of interest to access the underlying technologies.
|Tick the checkbox to select an UN SDG or an underlying technology.
Note: Selecting an SDG will automatically select all of its underlying technologies.
You can use the search field "UN SDGs" to analyze which companies own IP associated with the UN SDGs and the underlying technologies. By doing so, you can identify players who are heavily committed to sustainable technology.
Furthermore, you can find out how corporate portfolios associated with the UN SDGs have development over time.
How to Use the UN SDGs in the Radar Chart
The radar chart consists of two main segments: The outer circle is divided into sectors that contain the labels of the selected attribute (here: "UN SDGs—Goals (ID and Title)"). The inner bars visualize the size of each sector based on the selected measure (here: “Portfolio Size”). The sector with the highest value occupies the maximum sector size. All other sectors are displayed relative to it.
The radar chart allows you to group patent families retrieved as the search results by the UN SDGs. You can hover over each goal to show the exact number of associated patent families.
Double-click on a UN SDG segment to display the underlying technologies.
You can edit the radar chart according to your needs in the chart settings: Select the chart and click on the gearwheel icon displayed in the top right corner.
Under "Sectors," select the attribute defining the sectors of the chart (default setting: "UN SDGs—Goals (ID and Title)").
|Under "Subsectors," select the attribute based on which the chart can be expanded (default setting: "UN SDG—Technology (ID and Title)").
|Under "Sector Size," select the measure which is depicted by the inner bars.
|Tick the check box "Show Only Direct Hierarchical Children" to only show the technologies directly associated with the UN SDG displayed by each sector. Patent families that are co-assigned to other technologies associated with other UN SDGs will also be shown if this check box is unticked
Of course, the UN SDGs can also be visualized in any other chart, such as the line chart. For example, it can be interesting to compare patent families that are associated with the UN SDGs with those that are not related to the SDGs. Select the item "<not mapped to a UN SDG>" under the tab "Lines" in the chart settings to include this set of patent families to your analysis.
With these settings you can analyze how the share of inventions that are not related to the SDGs has developed in comparison to inventions which are associated with the UN SDGs.
How to use the UN SDGs attributes
The UN SDGs and the underlying technologies can be used as an attribute (grouping) in any chart or table. Use the attribute "UN SDGs" when editing a chart or a table.
Select the attribute "UN SDGs."
|Choose if you want to group the chart by the goals or by the underlying technologies.
|Select the format in which the goals and the underlying technologies are displayed in the chart.
How to Use the UN SDGs Measures
PatentSight offers the measure "Share of Parameter Selected in UN SDG." This measure calculates the share of patent families mapped to a UN SDG or underlying technology in the total number of (active) patent families mapped to this UN SDG or underlying technology. In addition, the measure can also calculate the share of the Patent Asset Index of these patent families in the total Patent Asset Index of all patent families in an UN SDG or an underlying technology.
Select the measure "Share of Parameter Selected in UN SDG."
Choose if you want to show the shares in the UN SDGs or the underlying technologies. The corresponding attribute will be automatically added to your chart or table for you.
|Select if you want to look at (active) patent families or the Patent Asset Index.
By using the attribute "UN SDGs" and the measure "Share of Parameter Selected in UN SDGs" together in the same chart or table, you can for example determine how much an underlying technology is contributing to a specific UN SDG from an IP perspective.
You can also analyze the share of the patent families (or their Patent Asset Index) that belong to a company of interest and are mapped to a UN SDG or underlying technology in the total number of patent families (or their Patent Asset Index) that are mapped to this UN SDG or underlying technology. This approach can help you identify green leaders in sustainable development goals and technologies.
This example shows that the owner "Company A" owns 14% of all active patent families that are mapped to the technology "T 042: Hybrid Vehicle."
For your first UN SDG analysis in PatentSight, we recommend the playbook "UN SDGs." The playbook contains a set of predefined analyses with accompanying explanations.
Are the UN SDG included in my subscription?
The UN SDGs were defined by the United Nations as a global call to action in times of environmental crisis. PatentSight is striving to contribute to achieving these goals by introducing an unbiased measurement based on patent data. Accordingly, we made the UN SDG search fields, attributes, and measures available to all our customers with Enterprise licenses. Users with Reviewer and Reader licenses are also able to incorporate the UN SDG search fields, attributes, and measures in their daily work.
How did you map patents to the UN SDGs?
The methodology to establish a link between the UN SDGs and patent data (inventions) is based on a framework provided in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This agenda provides 231 unique indicators for the 17 goals. These indicators are global in nature and are universally applicable and complemented by indicators at the regional and national levels (developed by the UN Member States). The indicators are supposed to be used for tracking the progress towards the attainment of the SDGs and can be mapped to advancements in science and technology as expressed through patentable inventions.
The criteria for patents are defined by territorial laws, whereas the science and technology protected by the patents is universal. This is in alignment with the UN SDG framework where the global perspective is supposed to be implemented at the national level.
The Global SDG Indicators Database, maintained and regularly updated by the United Nations Statistics Division, makes data on the global SDG indicators publicly available and includes both country-level data and regional and global aggregates. As of July 2019, it included data for 166 of the 231 indicators and more than 1.2 million data records. An accompanying metadata repository provides the metadata for the indicators that have an internationally established methodology and standards. Access to the country-level data and the metadata ensures full transparency with respect to the data and methodologies used for global reporting. The Database and metadata repository are maintained by the United Nations Statistics Division, whereas the data and metadata are provided by international agencies and entities (also referred to as custodian agencies) in accordance with their mandates
Who created the underlying technology fields in PatentSight?
All SDG related searches used to map patent families to the underlying technologies were defined and created by a group of LexisNexis patent search specialists. In an iterative approach, we reviewed and modified all underlying searches based on the search results in regard to SDG compliance before finally implementing them in the PatentSight BI.
Is there a documentation for the technology fields?
Yes. The technology fields based on the UN SDGs each comes with a factsheet in PDF format available for download. The factsheets list the key CPCs and keywords used for the patent searches.
In what form are the UN SDGs available in PatentSight?
In PatentSight, the UN SDGs are available as search fields, attributes, and measures and can thus be used in searches and various kinds of analyses.
How often are the UN SDGs and the underlying technologies updated in PatentSight?
The searches used to define the UN SDGs and underlying technologies from an IP perspective are executed with every data update. This allows us to update the technology fields related to sustainability weekly and thus to quickly identify and map new patents to the UN SDGs. Moreover, we will adjust the searches if the UN introduce any changes to their definitions. To ensure transparency, we will inform about any such adjustments.
Why did PatentSight use the UN SDGs instead of ESG fields?
ESG (environment, social, and governance) fields are not clearly defined categories and thus have no globally unanimous definition. Consequently, any mapping of patentable technologies would be vague and arguable.
The UN SDGs, on the other hand, are not only widely spread and known, but are also based on 169 defined targets, 231 detailed indicators and accompanying metadata. This allows us to distinctly map patentable, novel, and innovative technologies to the goals of the United Nations and provides a solid foundation on the Why and How of the patent mapping.