BCG & Hello Tomorrow Track Innovation in Deep Tech Using NetBase Quid

In their paper on Deep Tech: The Great Wave of InnovationBCG and Hello Tomorrow explain what deep tech is, how it works, how different stakeholders can contribute to it, and how it can be harnessed for competitive advantage. As the BCG Team notes, “NetBase Quid’s partnership has provided tremendous value to BCG over the years. It has been great to be able to leverage Quid’s platform to help support our Deep Tech work.” And we’ll provide a high-level summary here, with some practical applications of frameworks they’ve used that could apply to powering your own research on any number of topics.


Specifically, we’ll focus on:

  • Defining deep tech and its potential
  • Investment intelligence to inform deep tech understanding
  • How patent intel can reveal emerging innovations

And here are a few related statistics we think you’ll find interesting:

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Defining Deep Tech & Its Potential

So, what is deep tech exactly? Well, as BCG and Hello Tomorrow explain in their report, deep tech is more a concept or ecosystem of action than a particular technology itself. It’s easier to think of it in terms of the technological waves that define eras, i.e., the bronze age, industrial revolution, and now, deep tech.

In broad terms, deep tech is a problem-oriented approach that exists within the convergence of technologies and their advancements to develop products that provide solutions to modern problems. More simplistically, deep tech isn’t the road itself but the means of production that put it there.

BCG puts it this way, “while there is no such thing as a deep technology, deep tech, at its core, relies on recombining existing technologies or on leveraging emerging technologies rooted in science and advanced engineering that offer significant advances over those currently in use.”

The report takes a deep dive into the concept, its transformative potential, investment landscape, common obstacles and the fundamental principles behind the approach.


The potential of deep tech ventures is massive, as touched on by the above graphic. Within less than a year, a COVID vaccine has been developed, manufactured, shipped and implemented worldwide. It’s a shining example of modern problems getting a modern solution through deep tech capabilities, with a novel mRNA approach to combatting the virus.

The scope of the report is extensive, and we highly recommend checking it out. Their insights are heavily built on data analytics to inform their market research on this emerging trend. Additionally, they used the data analytics tools in the Quid product to help capture some of their intel.

And you can too! Let’s take a look at some of the investment and patent info they present in the report and how you can use Quid Pro to upgrade your market research.

Investment Intelligence to Inform Deep Tech Understanding

Investment into deep tech ventures is booming and is clear evidence of growing investor confidence in the space. The report shows that deep tech investments backed by ‘smart investors,’ mutual fund companies with a proven performance record, have increased from .9B in 2016 to 5.2B in 2020.

Of those investments, the most funded areas are synthetic biology, advanced materials and artificial intelligence.

They found that total investment in deep tech ventures, including all investors, grew from 15B in 2016 and topped 60B in 2020. Additional insights revealed private investment growing in deep tech start-ups and scale-ups. The average private investment amount grew from 13M to 44M over the same period.

While these are just a few of the investment insights contained in the report, NetBase Quid makes replicating these findings easy – across any vertical. Want to know how many biotech companies have received private funding over the last ten years? Setting up an analysis in the Quid product makes short work of getting an answer, which is, in fact, 3,195 companies, as you can see below.


Search for biotech companies receiving private funding over the last ten years.

Within moments, you have a bird’s eye view of investment insight into any industry, which breaks the insight into thematic topic clusters according to size. Additionally, the highlights pane gives a rundown of total and median investment received, top investors, top M&A, top IPOs along with the top keywords found in the network.

From here, the biotech world is your oyster. The Quid product encourages a deep dive into insights uncovered through the power of visualized data. An array of filters and robust tagging functionality bring the data to life, helping you discover emerging trends in any market.

For example, the timeline view gives us a clear perspective of how private investment in biotech companies has changed over the last ten years. Without digging further, we can see that investment is growing and reached an all-time high last year. Some areas of interest have waned, while others, such as the immunodeficiency (purple) and immunotherapies (yellow) clusters, have seen a notable uptick in investor interest.


View showing growing investments in the immunodeficiency (purple) and immunotherapies (yellow) segments of biotechnology.

Patents Reveal Emerging Innovations

Patents are another great way to unlock intel into emerging trends as part of your market research. BCG’s report reveals that nearly 70% of deep tech start-ups own at least one patent indicating a reliance on defensible intellectual property. Areas with above-average patent ownership include advanced materials, synthetic biology and electronics and photonics.

And just as Quid’s company dataset makes short work of investment info, the patent dataset quickly disseminates valuable intel across any industry. For example, if you’re curious about the state of blockchain following Tesla’s investment into Bitcoin, you’d want to take a look at patent activity in the space to get your bearings. Here’s what it looks like over the past six months.


Patent view detailing those applied for in the past six months in the cryptocurrency space.

As you can see, with 1,135 patents granted recently, it’s a super active space. And again, high-level intel is available in the highlight pane along with top original company assignees, inventors and filing locations.

What’s incredible is that sorting for original filing location reveals that patents filed in China are absolutely blowing away the rest of the world by orders of magnitude. Here’s what’s left by creating a tag for Chinese patents and filtering them out of the network. It’s pretty sparse.


Patents left over after filtering out those with Chinese origin.

That’s just a small example of how quickly you can spot curiosities within a dataset and inform your market intelligence. You truly never know where the data will lead, but having an agile set of industry analysis tools at your fingertips lends a dexterity to your market research that increases your findings’ depth and quality.

No matter your industry, market research powered by next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) is the key to uncovering the emerging trends growing under the radar. Be sure to reach out for a demo, and we’ll get you locked into industry insights that ignite your decision-making process.

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