In this work we aim at identifying combinations of technological advancements that reveal the presence of local capabilities for a given industrial production. To this end, we generated a multilayer network using country-level patent and trade data, and performed motif-based analysis on this network using a statistical-validation approach derived from maximum-entropy arguments. We show that in many cases the signal far exceeds the noise, providing robust evidence of synergies between different technologies that can lead to a competitive advantage in specific markets. Our results can be highly useful for policymakers to inform industrial and innovation policies.
Keywords: economic complexity; innovation system; maximum-entropy models; multilayer networks; network motifs; statistical validation.