Korea is world leader in R&D spending, China ahead of EU – OECD
Korea and Israel are investing much more in research & development as a share of GDP than other advanced economies with lower public R&D budgets holding back spending in many countries, new OECD data shows. China has edged further ahead of Europe, spending more on R&D in absolute terms than the EU-28 for the first time in 2014
Gross Domestic Expenditures on R&D (GERD) data for 41 economies in 2014 – OECD members plus Argentina, China, Chinese Taipei, Romania, Russia, Singapore and South Africa – show Korea spent 4.29 % of its GDP on R&D in 2014, followed by Israel at 4.11 %. In third place, Japan spent 3.58 %.
China invested 2.05 % of its GDP in R&D, passing the 2 % goal set in its 2006-10 economic plan. The EU-28 averaged 1.94%, well below the bloc’s target to spend 3 % of GDP on R&D by 2020.
In an indication of 2015 trends, provisional 2015 government budget data for 19 OECD countries shows public R&D spending slowing again after briefly stabilising in 2014. The figures do not include the (off-budget) cost of tax incentives for business R&D, where they exist, which have been increasing in many countries but not always enough to offset budget cuts. Of the 19 countries, two thirds reduced their public R&D budgets in real terms, leaving the total for the group down 1.3 %.
China’s R&D spending has risen steadily from 0.57% of GDP in 1995. It surpassed the UK in 2011 and the EU in 2012, as a share of GDP. EU R&D spending has risen only gradually from 1.60 % of GDP in 1995. The 9 % rise in China’s 2014 R&D spending was its lowest growth rate in real terms since 1996.
OECD countries spent an average of 2.37 % of GDP on R&D in 2014, unchanged from 2013. Annual spending rose 2.1 % in real terms in 2014 in the OECD area, down from 2.8 % in 2013. Most of the growth is from business R&D (up 2.8 %), while R&D spending in government institutions rose just 1.0% and R&D in higher education slipped by 0.2 %.
The most recent available data for the United States shows it spent 2.74% of GDP on R&D in 2013.
In volume terms (at current prices), China’s 2014 R&D spending was equivalent to 80 % of the US level in 2013 and it stood at 102 % of the EU total. The number of patents filed by Chinese inventors continued to rise, placing China behind only the US and Japan in filings.
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