Sunday, October 18, 2009

Developing countries boost their R&D efforts

The number of researchers in developing countries jumped from 1.8 million to 2.7 million in five years (2002-2007), according to the new data release from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS).

The rise in numbers of researchers equates to a 45% increase, from 344 to 499 researchers per million inhabitants in developing countries. During the same period, the number of researchers in developed countries increased by only 8.6% to 4.4 million. In relative terms, this amounts to 3,592 researchers per million inhabitants, still far more than in developing countries.

The information was collected through the third UIS survey on statistics of science and technology (S&T), which is conducted every two years. It focuses on human resources devoted to research and development (R&D), as well as expenditure on R&D. Results of the survey reveal global and regional trends in the allocation of R&D resources.

Between 2002 and 2007, developing countries increased their global share of researchers by 8.1% (from 30.3% to 38.4%). They accounted for 24% of the total gross domestic expenditure on R&D in 2007, which is an increase from 17% of the global share seen in 2002.

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