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Home > Science, technology and innovation > UNESCO Science Report 2015 Accueil

UNESCO Science Report 2015 


Latest UNESCO Science Report features rich array of UIS data and information to help shape policies for sustainable development


Most countries, regardless of their level of income, now see research and innovation as keys to fostering sustainable economic growth and furthering development. This is one of the conclusions of the UNESCO Science Report: Towards 2030.


Written by more than 50 experts representing countries and regions around the world, the report provides more detailed information and analysis than ever before. The trends and developments in science, technology and innovation policy and governance from 2009 to 2015 provide baseline information for countries committed to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Investment in R&D on the rise


The report cites in particular UIS data on investment in R&D. Despite the economic crisis that hit industrialized countries in 2008, gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD) increased globally by 31% between 2007 and 2013, rising from USD (PPP$) 1,132 billion in 2007 to USD (PPP$) 1,478 billion in 2013. This increase was more rapid than that of global gross domestic product (GDP) during the same period (20%).


The report notes that USA still leads, with 28% of global investment in R&D, followed by China (20%) – now ahead of the European Union (19%) – and Japan (10%). The rest of the world represents 67% of the global population but just 23% of global investment in R&D. Nevertheless, research investment by countries such as Brazil, India and Turkey is increasing rapidly.


The investment in research also translates into an increase in the number of scientists, estimated at 7.8 million worldwide, which is up by more than 20% since 2007. The European Union has the most (22% of the world share), followed by China (19%) and USA (17%).


UNESCO eAtlas of Research and Experimental Development


As a companion to the UNESCO Science Report, the UIS has released the UNESCO eAtlas of Research and Experimental Development  (R&D).


The eAtlas provides quick access to the latest data on human and financial resources devoted to R&D for almost 200 countries and territories, making it an important reference for both high- and low-income countries as they benchmark and assess progress towards the SDGs. 


Available in English, French and Spanish (forthcoming), the eAtlas allows users to visualise, customise, share and embed maps, charts and ranking tables for more than 75 indicators.


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