India lags far behind in field of scientific research and development globally which is led by the United States, while China exhibited the most dramatic R&D spending growth pattern, an official American report has said.
Worldwide R&D performance (measured as expenditures) totalled an estimated USD 1,435 billion in 2011, which is the latest global total available.
The comparable figure for 2001 was USD 753 billion, which reflected a brisk, 6.7 per cent average annual growth over a decade, said the report released yesterday by the National Science Board.
The American R&D increased to USD 407 billion in 2010 and to USD 424 billion in 2011.
At just under 30 per cent of the global total in 2011, the United States remains, by far, the world’s largest R&D performer.
Nonetheless, with other countries also expanding their investments in R&D, the US share has declined since 2001, when it was 37 per cent, the report said.
However, it is China which has continued to exhibit the most dramatic R&D growth pattern during this period.
At USD 208 billion of R&D expenditures in 2011, China is the world’s second-largest R&D performer.
While this is less than half the US level, the growth in China’s R&D spending has averaged an exceptionally high 20.7 per cent annually in 2001–11.
India’s figure was a mere USD 24 billion in 2007, the latest available figure in the report.
Annual growth rate for US R&D averaged 4.3 per cent over the same period.
Corresponding average annual growth rates for the largest R&D countries of the EU (Germany, France, United Kingdom) are in the three per cent to six per cent range.
According to the report, the economies of East/Southeast and South Asia—including China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan—represented 25 per cent of the global R&D total in 2001 but accounted for 34 per cent in 2011.
China (15 per cent) and Japan (10 per cent) were the largest R&D performers in this group, it said. After the United States and China, Japan with USD 147 billion is the third largest spender in R&D.
The largest EU performers spend comparatively less: Germany (USD 93 billion, seven percent), France (USD 52 billion, four per cent), and the United Kingdom (USD0 billion, three percent).
R&D spending by South Korea has also been rising in recent years and accounted for four per cent (USD 60 billion) of the global total in 2011.
"Taken together, these top seven countries account for about 72 per cent of total global R&D.
The Russian Federation, Taiwan, Brazil, Italy, Canada, India, Australia and Spain make up the next tier of performers, with total R&D expenditures ranging from USD 20 billion to USD 35 billion.
The top seven countries, along with the second group of eight economies, together account for 84 per cent of current global R&D," the report added.