While China is emphasizing development over basic research, it looks poised to top U.S. in absolute R&D spending by 2022, according to the 2014 global R&D spending forecast by Battelle and R&D Magazine. The report observes that China has been increasing R&D investment by 12% to 20% annually for each of the past 20 years, twice the U.S. rate. By 2022, Battelle expects China to equal and then surpass the U.S. spending level of $600 billion.
Although the U.S. is still seen as superior to China in basic and applied R&D, China is “designing and building state-of-the-art next- generation nuclear power plants, a space station, high-speed rail systems” and more major projects,” Battelle says.
Reporting on the forecast in its Jan. 17, 2014 article, “The Rise of China’s Innovation Engine,” The Wall Street Journal writes that many Chinese and Western executives contend that “China’s technology sector is reaching a critical mass of expertise, talent and financial firepower that could realign the power structure of the technology industry in the years ahead.”
If you like this article, check out the CIMS March/April 2014 Newsletter.