The Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, also known as the “Group of 20” or “G20,” is comprised of leaders from 19 nations and the European Union. The group meets regularly with the goal of promoting and supporting global economic growth. Member nations range from developed countries such as the US, Canada, and Great Britain, to emerging countries such as China and India.
A report published recently by the Intellectual Property (IP) & Science division of Thomson Reuters takes a closer look at the performance of the G20 in the last decade, specifically focusing on the areas of scientific discovery and innovation. A country’s performance is a key indicator of its economic well-being. As such, Thomson Reuters has examined the impact of the G20 in this area. By looking at data for the decade spanning from 2003 to 2012, the report offers insight into the emerging picture of the global economy.
Data gathered from Web of Science and Derwent World Patents Index reveals that the majority of participating G20 nations has increased their scientific output over the last ten years. As output has risen, so have the total number of citations and corresponding citation impact.
Developing nations in particular have experienced significantly high output rates. China, for instance, has had a dramatic 900% increment in domestic patent applications and an 8% increase in their world share of scientific research. Similarly, India’s scientific output rose 115%, and the number of papers produced doubled over the course of the decade.
The rate of increase, however, has not been unilateral. As a result, there has been a general shift, and countries with long-standing histories of innovation have seen a consequent decline in world shares. While the US was the largest producer, compared to other member nations, it experienced only moderate growth. Because of this, its share of indexed papers decreased by 5.2%. Europe experienced a similar occurrence, its shares declining by 3%.
Unlike the increase seen for most nations, citation impact for the US remained relatively steady. Consequently, the impact gap between the US, a traditional leader, and developing nations such as India and China, has steadily decreased.
All in all, the past decade has resulted in the steady narrowing of gaps between traditionally prolific countries and less developed nations once perceived as lagging behind. The arena is no longer dominated by Europe and North America, but is being equally led in terms of significant scientific output by Europe, North America, and Asia, with South American, Middle Eastern, and African nations following close behind. The report reveals a picture of general growth and increasing balance, with a resulting trend toward scientific globalization.
A summary of the report’s findings can be found on the Thomson Reuters website.