Emerging countries still fare poorly in technology, R&D - study

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The world's major emerging countries are still far behind traditional global powers like the US and Europe in terms of creativity, R&D and technology, according to a new study by US think tank Martin Prosperity Institute, cited by news source The Atlantic.

The study, "Creativity and Prosperity: The Global Creativity Index (GCI)," looked at 82 countries, focusing on aspects like financial resources devoted to R&D as a share of total economic output, the share of human resources devoted to R&D (researchers), patents granted per capita, and talent, among others.

In the overall GCI ranking, Sweden came in first, followed by the US. Finland was third, followed by Denmark, Australia and New Zealand. Canada came in seventh, while Norway, Singapore and the Netherlands rounded out the top 10.

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One of the findings most highlighted by the researchers, though, was the fact that the BRIC countries, despite their economic growth, are still poorly placed in the ranking. Russia ranks 31st, Brazil 46th, India 50th and China 58th.

In Latin America, Brazil is behind Costa Rica (ranked 32nd), Uruguay (37th), Argentina (38th) and Nicaragua (43rd), but ahead of Chile (47th), Panama (51st), Ecuador (59th), Bolivia (60th), Mexico (61st), Peru (66th), El Salvador (71st), Jamaica (73rd), Honduras (74th) and Paraguay (77th).


In the technology ranking, Brazil does a little better, coming in 41st ahead of India (42nd), but behind Russia (21st) and China (30th) among the BRIC group. Regionally, though, Brazil placed ahead of all other Latin America countries in technology.

Finland takes the top spot in technology, followed by Japan in second place, the United States in third, Israel in fourth and Sweden in fifth.

The researchers determined the countries' technology rankings by analyzing R&D development spending, R&D workforce and patented innovations, and coming to an average grade.

Brazil ranked 31st in R&D investment, its best score among the three categories analyzed. Within this category, in "researchers" the country ranked 43rd, and 46th in "innovation."

According to the study, Costa Rica is the Latin American country best placed in innovation, ranking 28th, while Argentina was considered the one with the most researchers, ranking 37th.


Finland was also the top country in the talent sub-index, followed by Sweden, Singapore, Denmark and New Zealand. Among the BRIC nations, Russia leads in 13th place, Brazil comes next in 66th place, followed by India (75th) and China (76th).

According to the study's researchers, talent was measured considering human capital (post-secondary education institutions) and "creative class population" (share of labor force engaged in occupations such as computer science, mathematics, architecture, engineering, education, arts and design work, entertainment, media, business, finance, law, sales management and healthcare, among others.)

Argentina leads this ranking in Latin America, at 36th in the global ranking. It is followed by Costa Rica (42nd), Bolivia (44th), Uruguay (46th), Panama (52nd), Chile (54th), Ecuador (58th), Jamaica (60th), Peru (62nd), Mexico (65th), Brazil (66th), Nicaragua (69th), Paraguay (72nd), El Salvador (73rd) and Honduras (77th).