Here's Proof That American Innovation Isn't Dead

S&T Chart

Photo: National Science Board

The National Science Board recently put together a huge report, Science and Engineering Indicators 2012, about how much money is being invested in science and tech R&D around the world (via The Atlantic).

Click here to see the charts >
It’s showing just how many billions the Asian nations are investing to compete with the U.S. and the EU in producing intellectual capital (research, patents, property) — but that the U.S. still dominates in R&D spending worldwide. While China is graduating the most engineering students by far (34%), the U.S. is only turning out a shocking 4% of those grads. 

But the report also shows that patents that come out of the U.S. and the EU are by far the most valuable in the world, and that the most R&D investment is taking place between Western-based multinational corporations.

All countries are collaborating a ton more than they ever did before, and U.S. multinational corporations are spending billions — 20% — more on R&D in the Asian markets, which is a shift away from its previous investment in Europe and Canada.

Though money and intellectual property may be shifting nations, this research proves one indisputable fact: that the epic growth of the technology sector is not slowing down anytime soon. In 2010, the sector produced “$18.2 trillion in global economic output — about 30% of world GDP, and a growing share of many countries’ economic output.”

R&D spending worldwide has more than doubled since 1996, reaching an astronomical $1.3 trillion

Asia caught up to the U.S. in R&D spending in 2009, by devoting $400 billion annually

The U.S. is exporting the most intellectual capital. The EU briefly out-performed the U.S. in 2007, but the number dropped off significantly in 2007 — just as we headed into the recession

But when it comes to high-tech products, the U.S. and the EU are at $100 billion and $50 billion trade deficits, respectively. The Asian nations are all pulling in trade surpluses

The U.S. is the biggest consumer of China's exports

China is also the biggest consumer of goods from other Asian countries — another indicator of its rapid growth

Overall, the Asian countries are still exporting significantly more high-tech products than the Western countries

Since the tech bubble burst in 2001, the U.S. hasn't recovered all the tech manufacturing jobs it lost

The U.S.'s high-tech manufacturing industry is still the most valuable in the world

Though China dominates in providing value through manufacturing of computer and office machinery

The EU is exporting the most intellectual capital for commercial use

But the U.S. provides more valuable commercial intellectual capital to the rest of the world

Overall, the tech industry has dramatically increased in value worldwide since the 1998 boom

Even if there's more output from the Asian countries in some areas, patents that come out of the U.S. and EU are the most valuable in the world

In the early 1990s, the U.S. was awarding nearly half of its patents to Japanese inventors. That percentage has steadily declined since then

There is more research collaboration worldwide since 1989 — an indicator of globalization

Asian countries are producing dramatically more engineering research articles. EU comes in at a distant second, and the U.S. is third, producing 15%

Eastern countries have devoted significantly more resources to hiring researchers

China graduates a shockingly higher percentage of engineering and natural science students every year — a number that has been increasing steadily since 2002

The U.S. produces only 4% of engineering college grads each year, compared to China's 34%

The most R&D money is exchanged between the U.S. and the EU

The amount of R&D spending in the U.S. equals that of all the Asian nations combined

The U.S. performs around 15% of its R&D abroad — a number that has grown by 5% since 1999

But China is trying to catch up by investing more in R&D spending in recent years, whereas the U.S. has decreased the percentage of its investments since the recession

R&D dominates a larger part of the Japanese economy than any other — that is, if South Korea didn't rise up in the last three years

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