Korea catching up with advanced nations in R&D spending

Korea catching up with advanced nations in R&D spending

Korea maintains its lead as the world’s largest investor in research and development (R&D) for its economic size but still has a long way to go to compete with the U.S. and Japan, the government said Wednesday.

Korea spent 4.29 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in R&D in 2014, ranking first in the world, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.

By amount, Korea came in sixth with $60.5 billion. Driven by rising industrial investment, Asia’s fourth-biggest economy aims to use at least 5 percent of its GDP by 2017.

However, the nation’s cumulative spending on R&D is far behind those of the U.S., Japan and other advanced countries.The U.S. and Japan have invested more than 2 percent of their GDP in R&D since the 1980s, while South Korea attained the 2-percent level in 1994.

“There is still a big gap in accumulated spending between Korea and advanced nations,” said the ministry.

If Korea’s total investment from 1981-2013 is put at 1, those of the U.S. and Japan are 15.4 and 7.4, respectively, it added.

The ministry emphasized the need for the expansion of “stable and effective” R&D investment by both the government and the private sector.

“The government plans to keep pushing for R&D innovation,” Choi Jong-bae, chief of the ministry’s science and technology strategy office, told reporters. “In particular, we will place a focus on enhancing the quality of R&D on the basis of creative and challenge-oriented study.”

The government released the data in a bid to raise public awareness on the level of the country’s science and technology, as it marks “Science Month” in April.

Source : http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20160330000719

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