Research and Development is certainly emerging as a strongpoint for Asian countries with emerging economies — China and India — contributing majorly to global science in recent times.
The UNESCO Science Report 2010 has good news for the Asian region, inching its way up slowly and steadily in the field of scientific research as well as publications.
While Europe, Japan and the USA continue to dominate R&D, the impact of the global economic recession, has hit this triad harder than either Brazil, China or India. The R&D environment is ‘increasingly competitive, one in which the flow of information, knowledge, personnel and investment has become a two-way traffic.’
China and India, according to the report, are using their newfound economic might to invest in high-tech companies in Europe and elsewhere to acquire technological expertise overnight. China is “a hair’s breadth away from counting more researchers than either the USA or the European Union”. The country publishes more scientific articles than Japan.
The report also looks at the ‘leapfrog’ phenomenon where countries with lesser scientific capacity acquire, adopt and sometimes even transform existing technology over costly investments. The trend is fostering a “democratization of science worldwide.”