Making strides in scientific innovation is no longer an initiative of just a few select high-income countries. Research and innovation have become increasingly democratised; indeed, Asia’s emerging economies are now gaining prominence as world hubs of scientific research. While the United States remains at the top in terms of the volume of scientific publications produced and collaborations made, these countries are eager to develop their own innovation capabilities, and strengthen their research and academic partnerships.
Take China, which lagged in the field of scientific research only ten years ago. Today it has surpassed France and Germany, grabbing the number two spot in the number of scientific publications written in co-operation with researchers from partner countries. This push towards innovation has been accompanied by a jump in the globalisation of research, as evidenced by a significant increase in the number of co-authorships of scientific publications among countries, especially between China and the United States, and Japan and Canada. Korea has also boosted its R&D funding in the past decade, and now publishes more scientific research than countries such as Sweden, Russia and Turkey.
As scientific disciplines becomes more specialised, researchers in individual countries look to scale up by working with researchers in similar fields around the world.
©OECD Observer No 293 Q4 November 2012
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