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South Korea Spends Twice The Worldwide Average on Research And Development, Ranks Twelfth In Number of Scientific Papers Published, Says Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development

by Therese Agcopra / Oct 22, 2015 04:31 AM EDT
OECD headquarters in Paris. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images News)

South Korea is the second highest country in terms of spending for research and development (R&D) and has the world's leading facilities for science development, said Paris-based Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Monday.

According to the OECD's Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2015, the country's recorded expenditure on R&D amounted to 4.15 percent of its gross domestic product in 2013, which is nearly twice the amount for other OECD members which only averaged at 2.4 percent.

Yonhap News reports Oct. 19 South Korea spent 59 trillion won $52.7 billion for its R&D activities in 2013, and increase by 3.8 trillion won from 2012. This figure includes expenditures from both private and public sectors.

The OECD's 2015 Scoreboard also listed South Korea as the leader in 11 out of the top 20 fast-growing "disruptive technologies", a term to describe "radically innovative methods" which could potentially disrupt existing information technology (IT) industries, writes ZDNet Oct. 21.

The country is also an undisputed leader in the field of rechargeable batteries, mobile application services and nine other categories, Chosun Ilbo reports Oct. 22.

Among the inventions that South Korea boasts are data transmission and human interface technologies, which allow users to manage devices through voice or other non-traditional mechanisms.

South Korea was also recognized 14.1 percent of global patents the fields of the Internet of Things, quantum computing, big data, and telecommunications. The patents were registered from 2010-2012.

"Korea's lead is built upon strong education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines, with the highest percentage of tertiary graduates in natural sciences and engineering in the OECD area," the organization said.

South Korea only garnered a medium score in the science citation index for the number of  papers it published in scientific journals over a 10-year period.

ZDNet notes that out of 40 countries examined by the OECD, South Korea ranked 12th while China and United States topped the list.

South Korea also ranked low for international science cooperation. The rating for the country's cooperation is slightly lower than the worldwide average.

Nevertheless, South Korea is still considerably a leader in innovation and scientific development.

OECD's Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation director Andrew Wyckoff said, "Korea is ready for next-generation innovation in production by equipping them with intensive manufacturing fields, high performance workforces with technical skills, and some corporations' leading global technologies."

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