Article | Journal of Technology Transfer | April 2008

The Survey of Industrial R&D--Patent Database Link Project

by William R. Kerr and Shihe Fu


This paper details the construction of a firm-year panel dataset combining the NBER Patent Dataset with the Survey of Industrial R&D conducted by the Census Bureau and National Science Foundation. The dataset constitutes a platform that offers an unprecedented view of the R&D-to-patenting innovation process and a close analysis of the strengths and limitations of the R&D survey. The files are linked through a name-matching algorithm customized for uniting the firm names to which patents are assigned with the firm names in the Census Bureau's SSEL business registry. Through the Census Bureau's file structure, R&D can be linked to the operating performances of each firm's establishments, further facilitating innovation-to-productivity studies.

Keywords: Data and Data Sets; Patents; Surveys; Research and Development; Innovation and Invention; Performance Productivity; Projects; Management Practices and Processes; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques;


Kerr, William R., and Shihe Fu. "The Survey of Industrial R&D--Patent Database Link Project." Journal of Technology Transfer 33, no. 2 (April 2008): 173–186.