European Studies on Gender Aspects of Inventions - Statistical survey and analysis of gender impact on inventions
SIXTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME FP6 - 2005-Science and Society -17 188.8.131.52 c)
Within this Specific support Action the gender impact on inventive activities of all 27 EU Member States within the timespan 2002-2004 will be investigated. The available knowledge base, which is limited up till now, indicates a comparatively low participation of women in inventive activities in relation to their participation in research and development. A complete study covering all 27 EU Member States is missing to this day.
The ESGI project uses patents as an indicator for inventive activities. The structure of the project consists of two parallel parts: The comparison of statistical data of the European Patent Office with a) statistical data of EUROSTAT and b) the results of an online survey exploring the innovative climate on gender aspects of applicants. These two parts merge into the last part of the project, the gender impact assessment of the inventive activities of all 27 EU Member States.
The following methods will be used:
- A data analysis of patent applications at EPO (European Patent Office) for the time period 2001-2003 for all 27 EU member states, relating to the sex of the inventor (male or female), patent category and other criteria. Because the sex of the inventors is not registered by EPO at the time of patent application, the first step of the data analysis is a sex-disaggregation of the inventor’s first names.
- A data comparison of the results with earlier studies as well as existing statistical data of female researchers in the corresponding research and development fields
- A representative online-study of patent applicants in institutions which interviews heads of R&D-departments of institutions of all 27 EU states
- A Gender Impact Assessment: Integration of all results and final assessment
The European Union’s aim is to be the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by the year 2010, therefore the full range of innovative and inventive potential of the society should be incorporated. The proposed project will deliver the missing knowledge base concerning the participation of women in inventive activities. The comparison of the different EU Member States will reveal efficient tools and political strategies to increase the contribution of women in invention and patent creation. Therefore, the proposed project contributes to the EU gender mainstreaming policy and the goal of gender equality.