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Which technologies and companies are leading the race to our sustainable future?

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The United Nations Sustainability Goals (UN SDGs) provide a roadmap for innovation and technology development that can support sustainable development worldwide. By addressing environmental, social, and economic challenges through innovative solutions, we can work towards a more sustainable and equitable future. Although there are 17 UN SDGs, this page is focused on providing exclusive insight on the following:

  • Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure – This goal aims to promote sustainable industrialisation and innovation, including the development of new technologies and infrastructure that are sustainable and resilient.
  •  Goal 13 Climate Action – This goal aims to mitigate and adapt to climate change, including through the development of new technologies and processes that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote renewable energy.

Patents play a critical role in driving innovation and supporting sustainable development.  Patents provide an indicator as to which companies are leading the way for innovative sustainable products and processes that benefit both people and the planet.

Sustainable Plastics

Mintel Sustainability Barometer 2022

Mintel Sustainability Barometer


The Cipher platform was instrumental in providing data to support consumer trends giant Mintel in producing their Sustainability Barometer for 2022.

A quote from the report’s author:

“Cipher’s patent analysis plays a crucial role in revealing who’s innovating and where and how that corresponds to both the solutions valued by consumers and the framework of Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN”.

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Sustainability and detergents: environmentally friendly innovation

We reviewed the patent owners in the Sustainable Detergents space, identifying:

  • the new technologies designed to produce innovative formulations
  • the more sustainable products aimed at reducing the industry’s environmental impact

Sustainability and detergents report

Eco washing lotions on a table

The Circular Economy: Sustainable Packaging

Improving the trajectory towards achieving circular economy targets requires a step-change in approach to sustainable packaging adoption across fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs).

To track this progress, we analysed patent data to see the innovation landscape across a subset of plastic packaging alternatives.

Sustainable packaging report

Coloured plastic bottles

How can patent data be made actionable for the CTO office?

The CTO must choose which technologies will best enhance an organisation’s revenues. Substantial resources are invested in technology scouting and forecasting to both direct the selection of technologies and to assist the associated “buy v build” decisions. Trends in patented technology can support scouting and provide invaluable competitive intelligence to support this activity.

How can we identify new technology trends from patent data?

It is tempting to believe that because all patents (by legal definition) must be new, then all patent data reveals technology trends. While this is somewhat true, it’s not actionable. There are two dimensions to this. First, when an organisation moves into a new technology area. Patenting trends help forecast these strategic changes in direction. Secondly, when there is a notable trend in an established technology area. Cipher has developed new Machine Learning approaches to spotting what’s new from more of the same.


Sustainable Plastics – Inventions and innovators report


Sustainable plastics report

Our report includes:

  • The top invention owners in alternative sustainable plastic technologies worldwide
  • A weighted list of the leading sustainable plastic innovators – based on recent patenting activity by scale and overall exposure

Insights & Thought Leadership

Sustainability through a patent lens

Which patent innovations are helping to combat climate change? From packaging to batteries to electric vehicles, we look through a patent lens at sustainable technologies of the future.
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Innovation-led Sustainability

Episode 1 in Season 3 features Gregorio Ossola, Head of Corporate Solutions at one.five. Greg shared with us the importance of a data-led approach to sustainability.
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Biodegradable Alternatives to Plastics

Some 8 billion metric tons of plastic has been produced over the past 50 years. How is technology positively influencing the next 50 years and providing a more sustainable solution?
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Investing in the Future of Technology

Episode 10, Season 1 of Cipher Vision Podcast series is about Investing in the Future of Technology. The season finale features two of Cipher’s directors, Scott Bell and Stephen Halliday.
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Inventions & Innovators powering the Energy Transition

A detailed view of the leading innovators to watch based on recently-published inventions and applying weightings to technologies which enable the energy transition.
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Cipher has helped us answer strategic business questions specifically by presenting the data to us in a way aligns with our own view of the world.

Jared Engstrom, Head of Patent Development, Red Hat

Cipher Vision Podcast

Cipher’s monthly podcast, Cipher Vision is now into its third season.  Each episode has co-hosts Nigel Swycher (CEO) and Francesca Levoir (Head of Marketing) and a notable guest discuss an IP or patents-related topic.

Guests have covered a range of subjects, from valuation and sustainability through to diversity and machine learning.

Cipher Vision episodes are under 25 minutes and are ideal to listen to during a short break or journey.

Cipher Vision podcast index

At War With Cybersecurity

Episode 2 in Season 3 features Jared Engstrom, Senior Director, IP Strategy at CrowdStrike joined us to discuss how pivotal patents are to a strategic security strategy.
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Innovation-led Sustainability

Episode 1 in Season 3 features Gregorio Ossola, Head of Corporate Solutions at one.five. Greg shared with us the importance of a data-led approach to sustainability.
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Communicating the Impact of Innovation

In our holiday special, Episode 11, Season 2, our hosts Francesca and Nigel introduce a medley of the best snippets from Series 2. Tune in to enjoy our highlights and key takeaways.
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Understanding Patent Value

Episode 10 in Season 2 features Jay Yonamine, Product Manager, GEO, Google, who shared with us his perspective on patent value, his thoughts on existing valuation methods and what the future could look like, given the possibilities and limitations of ML and AI.
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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in IP

Episode 9 in Season 2 features Mike Binns and Braxton Davis, both Associate General Counsel at Meta. They shared with us their experience pioneering DEI in the workplace and the current initiatives that they are working on, including ADAPT and The NCPP.
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Investing in IP

Episode 8 in Season 2 features Julian Moore, Managing Director, Technology Corporate Finance at Houlihan Lokey. Julian shared with us his experience and understanding of investing in the IP analytics field, and more.
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Cipher on Twitter

Our 25-minute #CipherVision #podcast episodes are described as ‘storytelling with #data‘ and have covered topics including #cybersecurity #ML #DEI, #investment strategies and patent #valuation. Listen now: #businesspodcasts #strategicpatentintelligence
We’re just back from #IPBCEurope, where our CEO @swychern moderated a masterclass on Handling Emerging Risks. If #risk to your #patent portfolio is a concern, our Patent Risk Hub has the resources to help you: #patents #riskmanagement #riskmitigation #IP
Earlier this afternoon at #IPBCEurope, our CEO @swychern moderated a masterclass – Handling Emerging Risks – featuring panellists from @RaySearch, @Dentons and others. #IP #patents #strategicpatentintelligence.
The Cipher team is back at our booth at #IPBCEurope today in Paris. Please drop by and we’ll be more than happy to schedule a quick introductory meeting at a time to suit you. #IP #patentdata #strategicpatentintelligence.
“You always learn something new.” Listen to how our CEO @swychern found Day One of #IPBCEurope in Paris today. #IP #patents
Delighted to have Ken Seddon, CEO, @TheLOTNET join the Cipher team for dinner in Paris last night, ahead of the start of #IPBCEurope today. Come to our booth to say hello or book in a meeting for an introduction to the Cipher platform: #patentdata #IP
The Cipher Universal Technology Taxonomy places every #technology #patent in the world into manageable, sensible groupings. It’s organised by reference to Technology Superclasses (10) and Subclasses (122). Find out more: #strategicpatentintelligence #IP
Anna, our Solutions Analyst prepared for this week’s attendance at #IPBCEurope in Paris by getting to grips with some boulders at #Fontainebleau over the weekend. Chat to our team for help with scaling your own #patent challenges:
“Filing #patents still makes sense, because we don’t know what the world is going to look like in 10 years or 20 years. And we don’t want to be caught with nothing.” – Jared Engstrom of @CrowdStrike in our latest podcast: #ITpodcast #businesspodcast #IP
Our Cipher Certified expert Katrin is at the 7th European Intellectual Property Forum (Berlin, 27 – 28 April). If you fancy learning about setting your own classifiers, book in a meeting to discuss the built-in training programme: #patents #IP #patentdata

With Cipher you can…

Portfolio Optimisation connecting cogs

Optimise your portfolio

Ensure you have the right portfolio to meet your strategic patenting objectives.

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Competitive Intelligence

Gather competitor intelligence

Understand who’s doing what by automating patent to technology mapping.

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Cross Licensing

Model cross licensing

Combine patent and revenue data to determine rational licensing outcomes.

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Manage your budget

Justify patent budgets and communicate the impact of your investment.

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Conduct due diligence

Automate manual reviews for efficient execution of M&A and licensing transactions.

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Tackle inbound patent assertion

Be prepared with evidence to create a fast and effective threat assessment.

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Benchmark your portfolio

Assess your portfolio in comparison to other owners through your technology lens.

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Monetise your portfolio

Identify opportunities to create value through licensing or sale of patent assets.

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Predict technology trends

Track new technologies and discover the unknown owners of future innovation.

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Create Risk Mitigation Strategies

Understand the materiality of your threats to define your risk mitigation strategy.

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Improve your patent strategy now

Speak to the Cipher team today.

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