The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven the increasing demand for computational power, scalability, and cost-effective solutions, and growing importance of technologies such as cloud platforms, virtualisation, parallel processing, and data management tools. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Cloud: Finite element simulation. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

300+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, deductive databases, finite element simulation, and neural networks for data storage are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. AI assisted network management, synthetic data, and grid computing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are fog computing and SDWAN which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for cloud in the technology industry

Finite element simulation is a key innovation area in cloud

Finite element simulation is a numerical method employed in engineering to address intricate problems by dividing them into smaller elements and solving each one individually before combining the results for an overall solution. This approach finds extensive application across various engineering domains such as structural mechanics, fluid dynamics, and heat transfer.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 80+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of finite element simulation.

Key players in finite element simulation – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to finite element simulation

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
State Grid 348 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Steel 152 Unlock Company Profile
China Southern Power Grid 113 Unlock Company Profile
JFE 110 Unlock Company Profile
Shima Seiki Mfg 88 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 79 Unlock Company Profile
ANSYS 64 Unlock Company Profile
Dassault Systemes 63 Unlock Company Profile
Halliburton 44 Unlock Company Profile
Levi Strauss 39 Unlock Company Profile
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos 30 Unlock Company Profile
NIKE 28 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid Shanghai Municipal Electric Power 21 Unlock Company Profile
NARI Technology 21 Unlock Company Profile
Daido Steel 21 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 21 Unlock Company Profile
China National Offshore Oil 20 Unlock Company Profile
IHI 20 Unlock Company Profile
China National Petroleum 19 Unlock Company Profile
eBay 19 Unlock Company Profile
AutoForm Engineering 17 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 17 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 17 Unlock Company Profile
Magna International 17 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 17 Unlock Company Profile
Airbus 17 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa 16 Unlock Company Profile
China Petrochemical 14 Unlock Company Profile
Arris Composites 14 Unlock Company Profile
ArcelorMittal 14 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 13 Unlock Company Profile
NARI Group 12 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 12 Unlock Company Profile
Autodesk 12 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 12 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid NARI Nanjing Control System 11 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 11 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 11 Unlock Company Profile
IFP Energies nouvelles 10 Unlock Company Profile
Schlumberger 10 Unlock Company Profile
ThyssenKrupp 10 Unlock Company Profile
Toyo Tire 10 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Tsusho 10 Unlock Company Profile
Power Construction 9 Unlock Company Profile
State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council 9 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 9 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 9 Unlock Company Profile
Yokohama Rubber 9 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 8 Unlock Company Profile
Aviation Industry 8 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

State Grid Corporation of China is one of the leading patent filers in digital rights management. The company’s patents are aimed at systems and methods that leverage finite simulation and designs.

The method includes the steps of judging whether a current simulation moment reaches a system fault clearing moment or not, in response to the fact that the current simulation moment reaches the system fault clearing moment, obtaining a dominant image according to the maximum rotor angle gap of the current simulation moment.

It also includes obtaining the bus voltage amplitude of each generator and the corresponding generator set at the current simulation moment; judging whether the dominant image stability situation/instability situation is mature or not; performing power angle stability/instability quantitative analysis in response to maturation of the dominant image stability situation/instability situation; and judging whether the quantitative analysis conclusion is credible or not.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Nippon Steel and China Southern Power Grid.   

By geographic reach, JMV leads the pack, followed by Saint-Gobain and Nippon Steel. In terms of application diversity, adidas holds the top position, followed by Electronic Arts and Chevron.    

Cloud innovation in finite element simulation has revolutionised the field of engineering and design. By leveraging cloud computing resources, engineers can perform complex simulations without the need for expensive hardware and infrastructure. These technologies enable engineers to tackle larger and more intricate simulations, accelerate product development cycles, and make informed design decisions, ultimately leading to improved efficiency and innovation in various industries.

To further understand how cloud is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cloud Computing – Thematic Intelligence.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.