Financial Resources for Science & Technology in India

R&D expenditure and the R&D intensity are the two key indicators generally used to monitor resources
devoted to S&T worldwide. The global gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) has more than doubled
from US $410 billion in 1990 to US $830 billion in 2002, in terms of current purchasing power parity
(PPPs). However, the R&D intensity measured by the ratio of GERD over GDP has slightly declined
from 1.8% to 1.7% during the corresponding period. It implies that despite sustained growth in world
GDP and sustained increase in funding to R&D by the countries, the overall world share to R&D
activities in world economic wealth has declined, though marginally5-6. Developing countries, for
example generally spend less than 1% of their GDP on R&D, whereas developed countries spend
between 1-3 % of their GDP on R&D.
Among major geographical regions, North America leads in scientific investment, accounting for 37%
of the world’s GERD in 2002. Its R&D spending, however, remained almost stagnant (US$302 billion
in 1990 and US$307 billion in 2002), but its R&D intensity has increased slightly from 2.6% to 2.7%
during the corresponding period 5-8.
Asia has been the second largest investor in R&D with a share of 32% in 2002, overtaking Europe. This
was due to the significant growth in share of China in world GERD (from 3.02% in 1990 to 8.07% in
2002) and of the “Newly Industrialized Countries of Asia” (from 4.9% in 1990 to 6.4% in 2002). These
countries managed to withstood their financial crisis and massively increased their R&D investments
(from US$ 8.2 billion in 1990 to US$ 53.3 billion in 2002), despite limited growth in their GDP5-8. Europe has been the third largest in R&D investments with US$ 226.2 billion spending in 2002. Its
share in global R&D investments has, however, declined from 33.87% in 1990 to 27.30% in 2002. The
decline has resulted from falling investment shares of “Central & Eastern Europe” and the “Community
of Independent States of Europe”. The...