The National Science Board’s report Science and Engineering Indicators 2012 says that global R&D expenditures over the past decade have grown faster than global GDP. The report highlights some major developments in international science and technology (S&T), including:
- Collaborative research is becoming the norm and increasing international co-authorship on research articles reflects this growing trend of collaboration across national boundaries. Only 8% of the world’s science and engineering articles in 1988 had international co-authors. In 2009, this grew to 23% globally and 42% in the major S&T regions.
- The increasing view among governments that S&T are integral to economic growth and development. This has led to measures such as building more knowledge-intensive economies through foreign investment, development of S&T infrastructure and other steps which has led to a growth in global S&T capabilities, the most being seen in Asia and specifically in China.
- The European Union (EU) has made significant efforts to boost its relative competitiveness in R&D, innovation and high technology through various measures including supporting intra EU collaborations and enhancing the international standing of its universities.
Some other important resources for tracking global S&T trends:
- UNESCO Institute for Statistics
- NSF’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES)
- OECD’s Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry
- Women in Global Science & Technology