Roche was the top industrial automation innovator in the clinical trial operations sector in the latest quarter. The company filed 135 industrial automation related patents in the three months ending January. But that was down from 195 over the same period in 2021.

Roche was followed by Johnson & Johnson with 111 industrial automation patent applications, Thermo Fisher Scientific (96 applications), and Sartorius (48 applications).

Sartorius has recently ramped up R&D in industrial automation. It saw growth of 6.2% in related patent applications in the three months ending January compared to the same period in 2021 - the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the clinical trial operations sector.

Research and innovation in industrial automation in the clinical trial operations sector has declined in the last year.

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By GlobalData

The most recent figures show that the number of industrial automation related patent applications in the industry stood at 169 in the three months ending January - down from 309 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to industrial automation followed a similar pattern to filings - shrinking from 175 in the three months ending January 2021 to 122 in the same period in 2022.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

Industrial automation is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.