Automotive industry

Innovation in smart materials among companies in the automotive industry has fallen over the past year

Research and innovation in smart materials in the automotive manufacturing and supply sector has declined over the past year.

The latest figures show that the number of patent applications related to smart materials in the industry rose to 25 in the three months to April, compared to 33 in the same period in 2021.

Numbers of issued patents related to smart materials followed a similar trend to filings – rising from 34 in the three months ending April 2021 to 24 in the same period in 2022.

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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 subject areas and linked to key companies in various industries.

Smart materials is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as a key disruptive force that companies will face in the years to come, and it is one of the areas where companies currently investing resources should reap rewards.

The numbers also provide insight into the biggest innovators in the industry.

Toyota Motor Corp was the leading smart materials innovator in automotive manufacturing and supply in the past quarter. The Japan-headquartered company filed four patents related to smart materials in the three months to April. This figure was up from two during the same period in 2021.

It was followed by Japan-based Denso Corp with three smart materials patent applications, US-based Tesla Inc (3 applications) and Japan-based NHK Spring Co Ltd (3 applications).

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