Scientific research in Advanced Global Research

Worldwide spending on scientific research has increased 45 percent to more than $1 trillion US dollars since 2002. An astounding 218 countries generated 1.5 million research papers. The United States alone generated 320,000 papers. The US leads the world in scientific research production, accounting for 21 percent of publications and nearly $400 billion in public and private scientific research and development.

Scientific research in the BRIC countries

A study by the Royal Society of the United Kingdom looked the BRIC countries, along with South Korea. From 2002 to 2007, India, China, and Brazil more than doubled their spending on scientific research, raising their collective share of global spending from 17 to 24 percent.

Engineering is a common focus of scientific research in China, India, and Russia. The scientific fields in which China has developed a leading position include nanotechnology and rare earth. Agriculture and biosciences are important fields of emphasis in Brazil, which is a leader in biofuel research.

Based on Advanced Global Research developments and massive populations, China and India, the world's first and second most populous countries, produce a large and growing number of science and engineering graduates each year. About 2.5 million students in India and 1.5 million in China graduated with degrees in these fields.

International collaboration

Today, more than 35 percent of scientific research articles are the result of international collaborations between researchers from different countries, a 40 percent increase from 15 years ago. The number of internationally authored documents has more than doubled since 1990.

The United Kingdom, France, and Germany continue to be key centers of international collaboration in scientific research. Researchers from other developed and developing countries actively collaborate with scientists from these countries. According to the Royal Society report, "While the links between the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) have grown in recent years, they pale in comparison to collaboration between these individual countries and their partners in the G7.”

International scientific research often takes the form of collaboration. Regional institutions, including the European Union (EU), the African Union (AU), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), have their own research strategies that encourage and facilitate regional collaboration in scientific research.

"South Collaboration" between developing countries is a growing international scientific research. The International Center for South-South Cooperation in Science, Technology, and Innovation was opened in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2008. An initiative from India, Brazil, and South Africa promotes South-South cooperation in various fields, including scientific and research collaboration in fields nanotechnology, oceanography, and Antarctic research.

Collaboration drivers and benefits

There are several important benefits, motivations, and enabling factors that help explain the growth of international collaboration in scientific research, including:

  • Greater impact;
  • Scientific discovery;
  • Scale of research projects;
  • Scope and complexity of research issues and international affairs;
  • Capacity building; and
  • Advances in technology and communications.
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