Global research and development (R and D) spending is forecast to grow by 3.8 percent—or $60.0 billion—to $1.6 trillion in 2014, according to the closely watched annual forecast by Battelle and R and D Magazine. After a flat year of R and D spending in 2013, the U.S. is projected to show modest growth while China is expected to continue its two-decade upward trajectory in R and D investment.
Life Sciences: The biopharmaceutical sector accounts for 85 percent of all expenditures in the life sciences industry that also includes medical instruments and devices, animal/agricultural bioscience and commercial life science research and testing. The global industry is forecast to have a healthy recovery after a flat 2013, increasing 3.1 percent to $201 billion in 2014. In the U.S., a small projected rebound of 2.2 percent would increase spending to about $93 million, with growth primarily coming from smaller biopharmaceutical innovators and medical device manufacturers.
Information and Communication Technologies: This industry is the largest private-sector R&D investor in the U.S., performing nearly one-third of the total, and is expected to grow by 5.4 percent to $146 billion in 2014. U.S. firms also are dominant globally and will account for more than half of the industry’s worldwide R and D expenditures of $257 billion in 2014. Cloud computing and associated technologies will remain the major R and D thrust for the foreseeable future.
China’s PPP research and development spending is a bit over half of the US level and almost double the level of Japan. China is projected to pass the 30 countries of the EU in about 2019 and pass the US in about 2022 in R and D spending.
Significant R and D investments by Western countries in long-range technology platforms such as robotics, high-performance computing, social media, software, cost-effective energy sources and nanobiotechnology could stimulate rapid industry-scale economic growth.
The civilian and defense aerospace industries are seeing the creation of more efficient, cost-effective capabilities that are offsetting reduced government funding. These are occurring via internal R and D and technological integration in materials, electronics and communication and surveillance technologies.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.