South Korea Spends Double on Research and Development Among OCED Countries

Kyung Ho Kim, Oct. 20, 2015, 9:49 a.m.

Korea is a world leader in investment in the field of science but still wields very little influence when it comes to research breakthroughs. OECD Secretary-General José Ángel Gurría on Monday announced rankings in the field of science at the OECD Ministerial Meeting 2015, World Science and Technology Forum in Daejeon. 

The OECD published the Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard every two years.  Korea's R&D investment stood at 2.2 percent of GDP in 1995 but rose to 4.15 percent in 2013. The OECD average was just 2.4 percent in 2013.  The only country to overtake Korea was Israel with 4.21 percent. 

As of 2013, Korea's total R&D investments stood at W59.3 trillion, including both state and private-sector spending (US$1=W1,125). But Korea's influence in terms of breakthrough research papers was about the same as Australia's and Spain's, which rank in the middle of the OECD scoreboard.

Gurria said only seven percent of Korea's major businesses and four percent of small and mid-sized companies invest in R&D projects with foreign partners.  But Korea is the world leader in the field of rechargeable batteries, mobile apps and nine other areas.

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