05 January 2012 20:31 [Source: ICIS news]
By Joe Kamalick
WASHINGTON (ICIS)--Global spending on research and development (R&D) will grow by more than 5% this year to $1,400bn (€1,078bn), a key annual survey shows, with the US holding its lead as overall R&D funding leader but with China again in second place with an increasing commitment to research.
In its annual report on R&D spending worldwide, the Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) noted that the 5.2% increase in global research and development spending forecast for this year is somewhat less than the 6.5% growth seen in 2011.
However, last year’s stronger increase in R&D spending should be considered in the context of a post-recession surge in 2011 following two years of subdued activity, during the recession.
BMI noted that most of the 2012 growth in worldwide R&D spending will be due to increased expenditures in Asian countries, which are expected to boost research and development funding by nearly 9% this year compared with 2011.
European R&D spending will grow by 3.5% this year, the study says, and will include increased funding even by economically stressed nations such as ?xml:namespace>
In dollar terms, the
The figures for US R&D expenditures and those of other nations include both government and private sector outlays.
As a measure of the still dominant
However, if R&D spending is viewed as a portion of each nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), Japan and South Korea are among those making the largest commitments to new science research and product development, with each allocating nearly 3.5% of their respective GDP to R&D.
The US and
And while China holds second place in overall R&D spending with 2012 outlays expected to total $198.9bn, that amount represents a comparatively modest 1.6% of the nation’s $12,434bn GDP in 2012.
This suggests that if
For example, if
Ironically, some of the increases in
BMI said that part of the 2012 increase in
“The overall percentage of such R&D investments is still reasonably small,” BMI said, “but many companies are leveraging the economic and collaborative benefits of globalization.” That means that some
The role of
While, as noted, overall US R&D spending is to grow by 2.85% this year to $436bn, that increase comes despite a year-on-year decline in US government funding, according to the study.
“Federal government spending on R&D in 2012 is forecast to decline by about 1.6% to $125.7bn,” BMI said, “while US industrial spending is forecast to increase by 3.8% to $279.7bn, and academic spending is projected to increase 2.85% to $12.3bn.”
“This continues a trend of complementary shifts that has helped sustain growth in total US R&D spending” over the past decade or so, BMI said.
“For example, in 2003 and 2004, flat industrial R&D investment was offset by record federal R&D spending, while in 2005 and 2006 industry spending increased and federal government spending decreased,” the study noted.
But that complementary back-and-forth shifting of industrial and government R&D spending might not continue. Amid the general mood of budget-cutting and deficit reduction that now dominates
Among increases in industrial R&D, the
That 11% increase in US chemical sector R&D spending is all the more significant when compared with worldwide R&D spending in chemicals and advanced materials, which is forecast by BMI to climb by a more modest 3.8% this year compared with 2011.
Among the top R&D spenders in US chemicals are familiar names, with Dow Chemical, DuPont and 3M leading the pack, but with Honeywell, Huntsman, Eastman Chemical and Air Products & Chemicals also making sizable commitments.
The BMI R&D survey also identified what Battelle chief executive Jeffrey Wadsworth termed “some interesting trends”.
Among them, he said, “is the increasing importance of R&D collaboration at all scales”.
“From new mechanisms for open innovation in life science, to multinational collaborations like the ITER [International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor] fusion energy experiment, it is clear that collaboration has become a preferred strategy for major science and technology projects,”
In addition to or as part of multinational collaborative R&D,
However, he noted too that “with over $400bn in annual R&D funding from both public and private sectors, the
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