Research and innovation in big data in the automotive manufacturing and supply sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of big data patent applications in the industry stood at 90 in the three months ending October – down from 189 over the same period last year.

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Figures for patent grants related to big data followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 71 in the three months ending October last year to 50 this year.

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.

Big data 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.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Toyota Motor Corp was the top big data innovator in the automotive manufacturing and supply sector in the last quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in Japan, filed 25 big data related patents in the three months ending October. That was down from 58 over the same period last year.

It was followed by the Germany based Continental AG with nine big data patent applications, the United States based General Motors Co (7 applications), and Japan based Denso Corp (7 applications).