Science and technology are becoming ubiquitous features of many developing countries, as they integrate into the global economy. As a group, developing countries appear to either have been less severely affected by the worldwide financial crisis and recession than the United States, EU, and Japan, or to have recovered more rapidly. Governments in these countries have held firm in building S&T into their development policies, as they vie to make their economies more knowledge- and technology-intensive to ensure their competitiveness. These policies include long-term investments in higher education to develop human talent, infrastructure development, support for research and development, attraction of foreign direct investment and technologically advanced multinational companies, and the eventual development of indigenous high-technology capabilities.
The resulting developments open the way for widespread international collaboration in science and engineering research. The broad trend in this direction is reflected in increasing numbers of research articles in the world's leading journals with authors in multiple countries. These researchers are increasingly able to draw on high-quality work done outside the traditional S&T locales, and international connections are deepened by globally mobile experts.
Competitive elements, such as the quest for international talent, enter as well. Once largely limited to major Western nations, the quest for international talent is now pursued by many and "brain drain" has evolved into cross-national flows of highly trained specialists. Governments are eager to develop more modern economies that will increase the wealth of their populations. They seek to establish specialty niches and indigenous world-class capacity and to become competitive in international investment, development, and trade.
The globalization of the world economy has brought unprecedented levels of growth to many countries, demonstrating that benefits can accrue to all. These trends continue, but the structural changes that are part and parcel of rapid growth bring with them painful dislocations that are amplified by the continuing changes forced by the recent recession.