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Global R&D Investment Pattern: Historical Trend and Future Development (No.243, 2020)


By Zhang Xin, Research Department of Innovative Development, DRC

Research Report, No.243, 2020 (Total 5987) 2020-10-14

Abstract: There is a strong positive correlation between R&D investment and economic development, but from the perspectives of theory and experience, R&D investment during the economic depression may not decline at the same rate as the economic growth. The scale of R&D activities depends on the input factors, and ultimately on the interaction between the demands induced by economic growth and the cost of R&D activities. In the next 15 years, amid the changes of the global growth pattern, global R&D investment will also be adjusted to some extent, which will exert a significant influence on the global innovation distribution. This paper analyzes the interaction mechanism between economic growth and R&D investment, reviews the historical changes of economic growth and R&D investment in major innovative countries, and then predicts the global R&D investment pattern in the next 15 years by trend extrapolation. In the context of the experience and changes of global growth and R&D investment pattern, this paper suggests that China need to continue to increase R&D investment, optimize investment structure and strengthen scientific and technological cooperation with developing countries.

Keywords: R&D investment, global pattern, future direction