1.3.Research Approach
Research Aim
The overall aim of this thesis is to provide a proof of concept on how to analyze knowledge data and to provide a quantitative and qualitative description of it.
Based on this research aim, several research questions were developed. These research questions offer a more concrete and quantifiable way of evaluating the research. On section 2.1, the reasoning and more practical aspects of these research questions will be described.

Main research question:

The research is structured in a macro to micro. The first dimension is connected to the study of countries as capability groups - this will be referred to as the macro level, here a characterization of countries and their capabilities will be studied (RQ1). The second dimension - the micro level - concerns the study of the different organizations (eg. Businesses, Universities and related entities) (RQ1). The third and final domain involves the system perspective, which in this particular case related to the biofuel research ecosystem. (RQ2).
Research Questions:
    RQ1: How to measure the uniqueness of a capability (or set of capabilities of a country, organization, etc) based on the semantic architecture that can be extracted from the connections created via Natural Language Processing in the network?
    RQ2: How to characterize the complex system related to a scientific research area based on technological assets extracted in an automated manner?

Research Approach:

As a guiding approach to this research problems, the Design Research Methodology was adopted. The figure below provides an outline of the elements that characterize this method which include criteria definition, descriptive study 1, prescriptive study, and descriptive study 2. These correspond to criteria definition, literature analysis, method development, and application/success evaluation.
The first research method applied during this project is an exploration of the AMICa dataset and an evaluation of its potential, this first part is not described in this project because of the scope, but can be consulted in the project repo. Methodologies also included a balance of qualitative and quantitative analysis to characterize the different dimensions of the complex system.
In fact, the quantitative part of the research includes a study of a network and its properties, statistical characteristics, and Machine Learning algorithm implementation, among other techniques. On the other hand, the qualitative part of research includes a literature review and system characterization.
All of the data used during the analysis comes from the same dataset except if explicitly stated. This dataset was obtained in the scope of the AMICa pathfinder project and obtained through Natural Language Processing techniques applied to knowledge asset databases. However, other data sources were also used, for example, the price per gallon of oil, which was obtained through the DataBank of the World Bank .
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