Fri, Dec 26, 2008 - Page 11 News List

US$10bn on R&D marks fifth year of increased spending


Taiwan spent NT$331.4 billion (US$10 billion) on research and development last year, accounting for 2.62 percent of the country’s GDP for the year, a National Science Council official said yesterday.

Citing results from the council’s National Science and Technology Survey, council Deputy Minister Chen Cheng-hong (陳正宏) said the spending marked a continuous increase over the past five years.

Still, Taiwan’s spending on R&D fell behind its major competitor in the high-tech field — South Korea — whose R&D spending accounted for 3.23 percent of GDP last year.

The results also showed that the Taiwanese private sector’s investment in research and development increased every year since 2003. It accounted for more than 70 percent of the national level for last year, while government investment did not increase by much, Chen said.

Meanwhile, Taiwan had 6,128 patent applications approved in the US last year, dropping one notch to take fifth place in the world and trailing behind South Korea for the first time, Chen said, quoting the survey. Taiwan ranked fourth in 2006.

In terms of the Science Citation Index — an index of how often scientific papers from various countries are cited — Taiwan ranked 15th in the world, up two notches from a year earlier. Each research paper was cited an average 3.05 times, up from an average 2.92 times in 2006, Chen said.

Meanwhile, Taiwan ranked ninth in the number of research papers covered in the Engineering Index, up two notches from the previous year, Chen said.

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