In­sti­tute claims that low R&D in­vest­ment hin­ders the econ­omy

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOHN LIU

As do­mes­tic ex­pen­di­ture on re­search and devel­op­ment flat­tened over the years, it might have wielded an ad­verse im­pact on the na­tion’s in­no­va­tive drive and in turn hurt the econ­omy, ac­cord­ing to Dr. An­ders Karls­son of El­se­vier, a global dig­i­tal in­for­ma­tion so­lu­tion provider.

In a press con­fer­ence held yes­ter­day, Karls­son com­pared Tai­wan’s academia and R&D in­vest­ments with other ma­jor economies of the world.

Tai­wan’s ex­pen­di­ture on R&D stayed in the US$20,000 range be­tween 2005 and 2011, while China’s ex­pen­di­ture spiked from US$70,000 to more than US$180,000 dur­ing the same pe­riod.

The num­ber of full-time re­searchers in Tai­wan also stayed lev­eled. It was pegged at the 100,000 range, while in China, the num­ber grew from 750,000 to 1.3 mil­lion.

A sim­i­lar re­al­ity was ob­served in jour­nal pub­li­ca­tions, an im­por­tant fac­tor in global uni­ver­sity rank­ing. Ac­cord­ing to El­se­vier’s data­base, the scholar out­put in Tai­wan has kept at the 25,000 level, while the num­ber in main­land China jumped from 112,5000 to 437,500 in the past decade.

Com­par­i­son with Other Asian

Coun­tries

Tai­wan’s num­bers pale when com­pared with main­land China. To get a bet­ter per­spec­tive, it may serve to put Tai­wan’s fig­ures be­side those of other Asian coun­tries.

In the 2014 Global R&D Fore­cast pre­pared by non­profit re­search in­sti­tute Bat­telle, sci­en­tists and en­gi­neers per mil­lion peo­ple in Tai­wan reg­is­tered at some 4,500, while in Ja­pan, South Korea, and Sin­ga­pore, the num­ber hov­ered around 5,000, 5,500 and 6,100, re­spec­tively.

With re­gards to R& D as a per­cent­age of na­tional GDP, Tai­wan’s fig­ure of 2.3 also lagged be­hind the three Asian coun­tries. Ja­pan, South Korea, and Sin­ga­pore’s fig­ures stand at close

to 3.4, 3.7 and 2.7, re­spec­tively.

Tai­wan’s Higher Qual­ity

Pub­li­ca­tion

Although Tai­wan’s quan­tity of jour­nal pub­li­ca­tions did not stand out, the qual­ity of pub­li­ca­tions says a dif­fer­ent story. El­se­vier mea­sures qual­ity based on how many pub­li­ca­tions are done through top jour­nals such as Na­ture and Science.

About 27 per­cent of the Na­tional Tai­wan Uni­ver­sity’s pub­li­ca­tions were re­leased in top jour­nals last year. The share ranked third among well-known uni­ver­si­ties in Asia, beat­ing China’s Ts­inghua Uni­ver­sity and Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity. The pro­por­tions in the two Chi­nese schools have been pick­ing up fast since 2004, how­ever.

The top two spots in the pub­li­ca­tion qual­ity cat­e­gory were taken by Hong Kong Uni­ver­sity of Science and Tech­nol­ogy and the Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Sin­ga­pore, whose shares reg­is­tered at 42 per­cent and 32 per­cent, re­spec­tively.

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