Business-Driven Innovation : Is it Making a Difference in Education? An Analysis of Educational Patents
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This paper analyses business-driven innovation in education by looking at education-related patents. It first draws a picture of the challenges for innovation in the formal education sector, which suffers from a poor knowledge ecology: science is hardly linked to core teaching and administrative practices. It then turns to a common indicator of innovation: patents. In the case of education, patents typically cover educational tools. An analysis of education-related patents over the past 20 years shows a clear rise in the production of highly innovative educational technologies by businesses, typically building on advances in information and communication technology. While this increase in educational innovations may present new opportunities for the formal education sector, the emerging tool industry currently targets the nonformal education rather than the formal education system. We shortly discuss why business entrepreneurs may be less interested in the market of formal education.