Exploring technological opportunities by mining the gaps between science and technology: Microalgal biofuels

Ming Yeu Wang, Shih Chieh Fang, Yu Hsuan Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


The interaction between scientific and technological knowledge facilitates exploration of new technological opportunities; however, gaps between them typically impede exploration of these opportunities. Scientific papers and technological patents record modern and advanced knowledge in scientific discovery and technological development; therefore, comparing their statuses can identify the gaps and explore potential technological opportunities. Because microalgal biofuels are a promising alternative energy resource devoid of territorial land use problems, this study applies text mining and an algorithm that can cluster objects of high-dimensional data to microalgal biofuel papers and patents, and explores their potential technological opportunities. The results demonstrate that a text-based clustering approach is appropriate for identifying scientific and technological applications for microalgal biofuels. The results indicate that microalgal photosynthesis and light utilization have abundant scientific outcomes for technological engineers to potentially apply. Technological opportunities exist in synthesis, harvesting, extraction, and lipid conversion. Scientific knowledge underlying biofuels accompanying high-value co-products of production require sustained exploration and reporting through research. These needs represent potential technological opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-195
Number of pages14
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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