AAAS Report on U.S. R&D and Innovation

The American Association for the Advancement of Science released a report this week on major trends in R&D and related innovation metrics. According to the report, “The U.S. position remains strong, but public investments are stagnant: the U.S. is now 6th in total R&D intensity, 13th in government R&D, 10th in basic science intensity, and 17th in researchers as a share of the workforce. China has not yet caught up to the U.S. in R&D, but it leads the world in published output in math and physical science and engineering, and increasingly produces high-value patents.” A few noteworthy findings from the report:

  • China may surpass the U.S. in R&D investment in five years.
  • The U.S. has just above 1.5 million researchers, second to China’s over 2 million researchers.
  • The U.S. is 6th in R&D intensity – R&D as a share of GDP – behind Israel, Korea, Taiwan, and Germany since the 1990s.
  • The U.S. continues to lead in cited life sciences publications but is being outpaced by China when it comes to citations for physical sciences and engineering.