Total global gross expenditures on R&D in 2019 are forecast to grow 3.6% to $2.3 trillion in purchasing power parity, based upon spending figures of the 116 countries that have R&D investments of over $20 million. Although R&D spending in the US continues to rise annually, globally, the US’ share of R&D investments is contracting in the face of other countries increasing R&D spending at a higher rate. For example, a decade ago, the US accounted for 34% of global R&D spending, while China made up around 12.5%—currently, the US represents approximately 25%, while China contributes over 22%. In general, US and European R&D investments as a share of global R&D spending have been progressively falling over the past 10 years, while Asian R&D investments, especially in China, have been steadily growing.

In fact, other than Asia, regions are expected to experience decreases, however nominal, in their contribution to global R&D spending. In 2019, North America is projected to account for 27.07% of global R&D spending, a decrease of 22 percentage points, while South America’s share of global R&D spending will fall 5 percentage points to 2.22%. European R&D spending accounts for 20.31% in 2019, a 33 percentage point drop. Similarly, R&D spending in Russia, the Middle East and Africa also slightly will drop to 2.79%, 2.50% and 0.87%, with decreases of 12, 2 and 1 percentage point, respectively. In contrast, Asia’s share of 2019 R&D spending is forecast to grow 71 percentage points to account for 44.24% of worldwide R&D spending.

The US is forecast to invest 2.7% more in R&D in 2019 to total $581.0 billion, largely due to increases in federal research funding in the FY19 budget (see NSF and USDA Receive Significant Increases in US FY19 Budget). Of this amount, $154.4 billion will come from the federal government, $375.8 billion from industry, $22.3 billion from academia, $7.4 billion from other government sources and $21.1 billion from nonprofits, signaling increases of 6.2%, 1.1%, 4.7%, 5.7% and 2.4%, respectively.

SourceR&D Magazine

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