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The ‘Asianization’ of Global Innovation


Innovation in the nascent multipolar world


Global innovation is shifting toward Asia and China – faster than anticipated. 

In 2012, the share of the emerging economies in the rivalry for foreign direct investment (FDI) exceeded that of the advanced economies, for the first time. At the same time, the United States, through still by far the largest recipient of such inflows, has been steadily losing ground to emerging economies.

The United States has failed to live up to its promise in the innovation game in the past decade, as evidenced by recent data on R&D expenditures.

R&D investments stagnate in the advanced world

Innovation is often measured by input indicators, such as research and development (R&D), and output indicators, such as patents. While patents tend to tell us more about past glory, R&D may be more reflective of current and future trends.

Today, international R&D rivalry is no longer driven by the U.S., Europe or Japan, but Asia and particularly China.

According to current estimates, growth in global R&D funding slowed in 2013 in comparison to 2011-2012. Mimicking the global FDI trends, the slowdown can be attributed primarily to

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