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Home > Science, technology and innovation > E-Atlas of Research and Experimental Development Accueil

 E-Atlas of Research and Experimental Development 

UNESCO eAtlas of Research and Experimental Development – Explore the Data


Countries around the world are boosting investment in Research and Experimental Development (R&D) as policymakers recognise that science, technology and innovation (STI) are key drivers of economic growth.


In the wake of the recent adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which emphasise the critical role of science in development, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) has launched the eAtlas of Research and Experimental Development.


A new interactive data tool available in English, French and Spanish, the UNESCO eAtlas of R&D presents the latest available data on human and financial resources devoted to R&D for almost 200 countries and territories. 




A valuable resource for researchers, journalists and policymakers, the eAtlas allows users to explore, adapt, share and embed maps, charts and ranking tables for more than 75 indicators.


For example, the eAtlas makes it easy to visualise trends in STI through data on the education qualifications of researchers, their global distribution, sector which employs them, and the fields of science pursued in research. It also includes historical data to track trends over time and measure the impact of policies. Many indicators are disaggregated by sex to better evaluate the role of women in science.


With the renewed emphasis in the SDGs on investment in science, the eAtlas provides users with access to baseline data to measure progress, especially towards Target 9.5, with countries “encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending.”


The eAtlas allows users to quickly compare absolute and relative measures, which provide a more nuanced understanding of the data. For example, measuring investment in R&D personnel, from researchers to technicians and support staff – as required by SDG 9.5 – will depend heavily on ‘Research density’, an indicator that reflects the share of researchers in relation to the total population of a country. So while a country like China has a large pool of researchers in terms of absolute numbers (2.1 million), the density is actually low in relation to the total population at 1 thousand per 1 million inhabitants. By comparison, small Nordic countries, such as Finland and Denmark, have higher densities of researchers – more than 7 thousand per 1 million inhabitants.



countries with the highest share of researchers per 1 million people


To explore the data and discover more trends, visit the UNESCO eAtlas of Research and Experimental Development, which is automatically updated with the latest available data.


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