Comparisons and Performance
5. The big picture The ranking lists have shown that international R&D competition is basically dominated by the countries of the ‘Triad’, North America (mainly the United States), the Far East (particularly Japan) and the European Union. The leaders however do not constitute a homogeneous group and shifts in their relative positions are of major importance for the development of this competitive scene. Nevertheless the R&D competitiveness position of the leaders and followers can perhaps best be understood in the context of the Triad. 5.1 CAPACITIES AND PERFORMANCES IN INTERNATIONAL R&D: LEADERS AND FOLLOWERS The gap in R&D capacities and performances between the United States (and to a lesser extent Japan) and the European Union is evident, and it exists in a number of respects (Rodrigues, 2003, 52–4). Spending on R&D expressed by the GERD/GDP ratio, the relative share of R&D financed by business, the number of patents per million of population, the relative share of researchers within the population, and the recently introduced indicator of ‘knowledge investment’99 are all lower in the European Union than in the United States. The existence of these gaps speaks of a clear advantage of the United States over Europe in R&D, but the size and the trend of this advantage cannot be measured exactly by simply listing such indicators which describe various dimensions of the R&D gap between the United States and the EU. The Lisbon Strategy of the European Union has formulated a...
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