The U.K. Leads on Global Research And Drives Global Innovation
(3BL Media/Justmeans) - While the U.K. represents just 0.9 per cent of the world’s population, it remains a global research heavyweight according to a new report by the U.K.’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. This is a report that has been produced by Elsevier’s SciVal Analytics team and is based on Scopus data along with other sources. In terms of research quality, this European country has overtaken the U.S., ranking first amongst the comparator countries used in the study, which include the world’s most research-intensive nations: America, China, Japan, Germany, Italy, Canada and France.
U.K. research also clearly drives global innovation, where its research is the second most frequently cited in global patents after Germany. It also accounts for 3.2 per cent of Research and Development (R&D) expenditure; 4.1 per cent of researchers; 6.4 per cent of research articles; 9.5 per cent of research article downloads and 15.9 per cent of the world’s most highly-cited articles. The U.K. Universities and Science Minister David Willetts says, "This report clearly demonstrates the continued strength of our science research base and that the U.K. continues to punch above its weight. I want us to be the best place in the world to do science and this research shows that we are well on our way to achieving this goal. An excellent research base contributes directly to economic growth and is keeping us at the forefront of the global science race."
The report shows that by volume of articles published this small country is a well-rounded research nation. Compared to ten years ago, and relative to the world average, the U.K. has increased its emphasis on social science and business, though it has produced proportionally fewer articles in biological, environmental and physical sciences, mathematics and engineering. Several of the comparator countries, including China, Japan and Russia, focus more strongly on these areas than the U.K.
The U.K. occupies a central position in global networks of collaboration. Among its comparator countries, it has the second-highest rate of international co-authorship, after France, and this rate continues to rise. International co-authorship is associated with high publication impact.
Researchers are the engine that drives the progress of societies. It is clear that the U.K. has an ambitious research policy and aims to increase its efforts. This data from this latest analysis points to the importance of knowledge - of education, research, technology and innovation - for the development of society, an important factor in our globalised world. There is a broad consensus on the importance of research and technology for growth and welfare, which implies that research and higher education are not just important for industrialised countries, but form a vital part of the path towards growth and progress in developing countries. It is clearly not a luxury for developing countries to focus on research and higher education - it is instead a necessity in the fight against poverty.
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