December 6, 2010

China Set To Become World Leading Innovator In 10 Years

According to a public opinion survey, China is set to become the world's most important center for innovation by 2020, overtaking the U.S. and Japan.

China has established itself as the world's workshop for manufacturing and has moved into the world's second-largest economy.  It wants to move up the value chain by leading in innovation also.

The U.S. ranks as the world's most innovative country today, with 30 percent of people surveyed, followed by Japan with 25 percent and China with 14 percent.

According to the survey of 6,000 people in six countries done by drugmaker AstraZeneca, 27 percent of people think that China will be the top dog in 10 years, followed by India with 17 percent and the U.S. with 14 percent.

This shift is not because the U.S. is doing less science and technology, but because countries like China and India are doing more.

Thomson Reuters showed last month in a study that China was now the second-largest producer of scientific papers, after the U.S., and research and development spending by Asian nations as a group in 2007 was $387 billion, compared with $384 billion in the U.S. and $280 billion in Europe.

The pharmaceutical industry has been anxious to tap into China's science industry and many companies have established Chinese centers as they try to reignited research and development productivity in laboratories at home.

The survey across Britain, the U.S., Sweden, Japan, India and China found a strong sense of optimism among people who live in China and India.

Over half of those in China and India thought their home countries would be the most innovative in the world by 2020, while just 20 percent Britons thought their country would be able to claim this title.