Back to Contents

Geography of S&T: Globalization of Capabilities

Why is this important?

Today's interdependent economies rely on science, engineering, and technology for innovations that will keep them competitive. To that end, many governments have adopted policies to build or improve national S&T capabilities.

Key observations:

Location of estimated worldwide R&D expenditures: 1996 and 2007


R&D distribution

The distribution of R&D expenditures has shifted from 1996 to 2007. Asia's share has risen to nearly one-third, driven mostly by China's rapid R&D growth.

Average annual growth rates in number of researchers, by country/economy: 1995–2007

NOTE: Estimated number of researchers (in millions) is for 2007 and shown below country/economy. U.S. 2007 estimate based on long-term growth rate.
SEI 2010: Global S&E Labor Force, Chapter 3.


The estimated number of researchers grew from about 4 million in 1995 to about 5.8 million in 2007, rising more rapidly in developing than in industrialized countries.

The combined U.S./EU-27 share of researchers declined from 51% to 49%; Japan's share dropped from 17% to 12%. The combined shares of South Korea, Taiwan, China, and Singapore rose from 16% to 31%.

R&D performed in the United States by U.S. affiliates of foreign companies, by investing region, and R&D performed abroad by foreign affiliates of U.S. MNCs, by host region: 1995 and 2006

NOTE: Data are for majority-owned affiliates only.
SEI 2010: R&D by Multinational Companies, Chapter 4.

Cross-border R&D

Overseas R&D expenditures by foreign affiliates of U.S. multinational companies (MNCs) rose from $12.6 billion in 1995 to $28.5 billion in 2006. Europe's share of these overseas expenditures fell from 73% to 65%, and Asia's share increased from 15% to 20%.

Foreign MNCs spent $34 billion in the United States in 2006, up from $15 billion in 1995. European-owned companies' share of these expenditures was little changed at 75%.

High-technology manufacturing value-added share, by country/economy: 1995–2007

NOTE: China includes Hong Kong.
SEI 2010: High-Technology Manufacturing Industries, Chapter 6.

High technology manufacturing

The U.S. and EU-20 shares of world high technology manufacturing output have remained at high levels for more than a decade, measured in value-added terms (broadly, final product sales less the cost of intermediate goods and services).

China's rapid growth in high-technology output has driven its substantial world share gain; output decline in Japan in that sector has resulted in a steep share loss.

Exports of high-technology manufactured goods, by country/economy: 1995–2008

NOTES: China includes Hong Kong. Excludes intra-EU trade.
SEI 2010: Trade of High-Technology Goods, Chapter 6.

High technology exports

Exports of high technology products (excluding intra-EU trade) expanded from $732 billion in 1995 to $2.3 trillion in 2008, resulting in major shifts in countries' export positions.

U.S. and Japan's world high technology export shares fell by about one-third and one-half over the period, respectively; the EU-27's share was stable.

China's share more than tripled reaching 20%. Exports of the Asia-8 economies, steady at about 28%, included substantial intermediate goods trade with China and other Asian economies.

Back to Contents

Bookmark and Share