R&D in 2017 or 2.7% of the 2017 global R&D total and
about 95% of the Russia/CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) region. Industry provides about 29% of the
funds for Russia’s R&D, while the government provides
about 63% of the funds and the remaining 8% is financed
by organizations outside of the country. Russian government researchers/labs perform about 27% of the country’s
R&D, while 67% is performed by Russian industry researchers and the remainder (5%) is performed in Russia’s
academia. These relationships have been relatively stable
over the past 15 years.
According to Nature Index 2016, Russia has increased
its WFC (weighted fractional count) technical paper output
in the life sciences category by more than 60% over the
past four years, the highest percentage increase of the top
10 countries in this field. Russia’s WFC increased from
964 AC (actual count) in 2012 to 1,390 AC in 2015. Since
2013, the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) has been
undergoing a radical, Kremlin-driven overhaul that could
result in the ultimate closure of a large number of the RAS
institutes. Control of its research priorities and budgets has
already been transferred to a separate government agency.
In this process, however, its share of the overall Nature
Index contribution has slipped by 2%. Initiatives to raise the
quality of university research is showing signs of success,
as witnessed by Nature’s selection of Russia as a rising Star.
One of the most ambitious RAS projects is to raise Russia’s
universities into the top global rankings by 2020. While life
science research was noted earlier, research in the physical
sciences continues to dominate the overall Russian academic landscape.
The overall economic situation caused by the falling
price of oil, however, continues to depress the funding levels
of R&D. The total expenditure decreased by 10% in 2016 as
a result, according to a Russian science policy analyst.
ISRAEL is expected to increase its R&D to $12.2
billion in 2017 or 0.6% of the 2017 global R&D total and
about 24% of the Middle East’s total R&D investments.
About 65% of Israel’s R&D is funded by Israeli industries,
while 25% is funded by the government and 5% comes
from outside the country (insourcing). About 76% of Israel’s
R&D is performed by industrial researchers, with 5% being
performed by the government and 14% by Israel’s academic
Israel has the largest R&D/GDP ratio ( 4.10%) in its
region and is only exceeded by South Korea’s 4.29%
ratio. Israel accounts for about two-thirds of the regions
WFC scientific papers. However, this WFC level has not
changed over the past four years and the country could be
losing some leverage with rising universities in the region.
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz University of Science and
Technology (KAUST, the 2011 R&D Magazine Lab of the
Year winner) is likely to become a strong competitor in the
future. Saudi Arabia is well known for getting high-quality
science returns for its R&D investments.
SOUTH AFRICA is expected to increase its
R&D to $6.2 billion in 2017 or 0.3% share of the 2017
global R&D total and about 34% of the total African R&D
investments. The country’s overall WFC scientific paper
output has increased by 40% over the past four years. This
growth has been driven by a significant rise in its physical
science WFC, which rose from 23.70 in 2012 to 39.31 in
2015. This result reflects the country’s growing strength in
astronomy. About 40% of South Africa’s R&D is funded
by the country’s industrial sector, while 37% comes from
the government. The remaining 20% of R&D funds come
from sources outside of the country (insourcing). Industry
performs about 58% of South Africa’s R&D, while the government and academia equally share the remainder of the
workload (40% for each sector).
While Africa has 15% of the world’s population, the continent only contributed 0.25% of the Nature Index. South
Africa accounted for 64% of Africa’s total. More than 80
South African research universities contribute to the WFC
scientific paper growth noted above. These include the
University of Cape Town, the University of Johannesburg
and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The country’s focus
on astronomy reflects its infrastructure with the southern
hemisphere’s largest optical telescope and a significant
proportion of the Square Kilometer Array radio telescope
which is under construction. A significant R&D capability
in South Africa is the government-supported Council for
Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which attempts
to implement astronomy-based innovations into other areas,
such as manufacturing and communications.
There has been a drive to broaden South Africa’s WFC
focus, especially into the life science arena for such areas
as research into the Ebola epidemic, which has taken more
than 10,000 lives in Africa. Part of this will likely come
from collaboratory efforts with other African universities.
Already African scientists collaborate more than any other
region in the world with most South African universities
already involved in 60% to 80% collaborations.
R&D – billions
Non-U.S. N.America $44.4 2.21%
- Canada $30.3 1.88%
South America $50.2 0.30%
- Brazil $37.2 0.49%
Russia $55.9 1.10%
CIS $2.5 2.44%
Middle East $51.2 5.05%
- Israel $12.2 3.03%
Africa $18.4 2.67%
- South Africa $6.2 0.65%
Total ROW $222.6 2.14%
Global Share 10. 8