, Volume 97, Issue 2, pp 461–475 | Cite as

Divergence and convergence: technology-relatedness evolution in solar energy industry

  • Chunjuan Luan
  • Zeyuan Liu
  • Xianwen Wang


Exploring and measuring technology-relatedness and its collateral technology divergence and convergence, would have far-reaching theoretical significance and academic value on the chain mode of technology development, and also on the mastery of the laws for technology evolution and progress. Taking the patentometric analysis of solar energy technology worldwide as a case, employing the methodology of technology co-classification analysis, choosing two indicators, namely, mean technology co-classification partners (MTCP) and mean technology co-classification index (MTCI), we have analyzed and measured the evolving process of technology-relatedness. The results not only demonstrate in a direct manner the continuously advancing character of solar energy technology in the tensions of technology divergence and convergence, but also reveal quantitatively that, due to the chain reaction of technology-relatedness, technology divergence and technology convergence would tend to evolve in parallel. Through these, it is indicated that technology divergence and technology convergence are two trends which would develop separately, react mutually, and serve as causation for each other, thus making chain progress and continuously pushing forward the innovation, creation and upgrading of technologies. This is a regular phenomenon on condition that the specific technology area is in a status of sustainable development. It still awaits further research on how to verify and reveal the general principles on the interaction between technology divergence and convergence by conducting empirical studies and combining patent analysis.


Technology divergence and convergence Technology-relatedness Solar energy industry Patent analysis Co-classification analysis Jaccard index 



The research was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under Grant 71073015 and 71103022; also Major Project of the National Social Science Fund of “Ethical issues of high-tech” under Grant No. 12&ZD117.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chunjuan Luan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zeyuan Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xianwen Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Administration and LawDalian University of TechnologyDalianPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.WISE LabDalian University of TechnologyDalianPeople’s Republic of China

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