Squeezed R&D budgets in the EU, Japan and US are reducing the weight of advanced economies in science and technology research, patent applications and scientific publications and leaving China on track to be the world’s top R&D spender by around 2019, according to a new report from the Paris based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Annual growth in R&D spending across OECD countries was 1.6% over 2008-12, half the rate of 2001-08. China’s R&D spending meanwhile doubled from 2008 to 2012. However South Korea became the world’s most R&D intensive country in 2012, spending 4.36% of GDP on R&D. China and Korea are now the main destinations of scientific authors from the United States and experienced a net “brain gain” during 1996-2011.
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