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January 02, 2008

OECD brief on US science and tech industries

This is a briefing, OECD SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INDUSTRY SCOREBOARD 2007 BRIEFING NOTE ON THE UNITED STATES (PDF) that's part of a larger report, OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2007: Innovation and Performance in the Global Economy produced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on their Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry Web site.

Some highlights:

The United States has the highest share of investment in knowledge (as % of GDP), reaching 6.6% in 2004 compared to an average of 4.9% for the OECD as a whole, mainly due to significant expenditure on R&D. [I wonder if Ireland has better numbers--I'll check later.]

With regard to R&D performance, business enterprise remains the main sector in the United States (70% of the total in 2006), although the share of higher education institutions has been steadily increasing (14.3% in 2006 compared to 12.1% in 2001).

The United States accounts for the largest share of total venture capital in the OECD area (39%), and ranks among the highest in terms of venture capital investment as a % of GDP (almost 0.2% in 2005). In the US, most of this investment is concentrated in high-tech sectors (almost 90% of total venture capital).

The United States continues to attract the largest number of foreign doctoral students: about 10 000 obtained a doctorate in science and engineering (S&E) in 2005, or 38% of all S&E doctorates awarded.

It would be useful to look at these and the other stats listed in the main report, to track the trends. I have their CD OECD Health Data 2007: statistics and indicators for 30 countries which includes software that allows you to crunch your own comparisons as well as look at the trends. I'll have to see if this is possible for their tech data.


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