Korea tops APAC in government support for business R&D: OECD

Direct government funding and tax support for business research and development represented 0.35 of the nation's GDP.
Written by Tas Bindi, Contributor on

Korea has topped the ranks in terms of direct government funding and tax support for business research and development (R&D) in the Asia Pacific region, accounting for 0.35 percent of the nation's GDP in 2015, up from 0.3 percent in 2005, according to the OECD Science, Technology, and Industry Scoreboard 2017.

Australia came in second, with direct government funding and tax support for business R&D accounting for 0.2 percent of the nation's GDP in 2015, followed by Japan at 0.15 percent, China at 0.13 percent, and New Zealand at 0.08 percent. These are compared to 0.12 percent, 0.14 percent, 0.1 percent, and 0.09 percent in 2005, respectively.

Korean and Japanese businesses were also APAC's top investors in ICT equipment and information services in 2015, allocating 54.26 percent and 25.8 percent of total business R&D expenditure, respectively. In both cases, the percentages are down from 54.49 percent and 32.02 percent in 2005, respectively.

When it comes to share of ICT-related patents, China came out on top in the APAC region, accounting for 60.6 percent of total IP5 patent families owned by OECD economies between 2012 and 2015, up from 43.3 percent between 2002 and 2005. Korea came in second at 57.5 percent during 2012-2015, down from 62.9 percent during 2002-2005; followed by India at 40 percent, up from 12.2 percent; Japan at 36.2 percent, down from 42.5 percent; Australia at 20.1 percent, up from 17.8 percent; and New Zealand at 11.4 percent, down from 14.7 percent.

The top category of ICT-related patents during the 2012-2015 period was "information communication device", with 26.6 percent of all patents globally falling into this category, marking no difference from the 2002-2005 period. Imaging and sound technology came in second, accounting for 15.2 percent of ICT-related patents filed globally, up from 14.8 percent in 2002-2005.

This was followed by high-speed network at 12.4 percent in 2012-2015, down from 15.5 percent in 2002-2005; human interface at 7.7 percent, up from 3 percent; mobile communication at 7.5 percent, up from 4.8 percent; large capacity information analysis at 7.3 percent, up from 6.1 percent; high-speed computing at 4.8 percent, down from 6.4 percent; large capacity and high-speed storage at 4.6 percent, down from 10.5 percent; security at 4.2 percent, down from 4.5 percent; cognition and meaning understanding at 3.6 percent, up from 2.6 percent; electronic measurement at 1.8 percent, up from 1.6 percent; and sensor and device network at 0.9 percent, up from 0.7 percent. "Others" accounted for 3.4 percent of total ICT-related patents in 2012-2015, up from 2.9 percent in 2002-2005.

Japan had the highest percentage of patents in the information communication device category in 2012-2015, accounting for 33.5 percent, followed by Korea at 21 percent; USA at 11.9 percent; Chinese Taipei at 11.5 percent; China at 9.8 percent; and "other economies" at 12.3 percent.

In the imaging and sound technology category, Japan topped the ranks again, with 37.3 percent of patents falling into this category in 2012-2015, followed by Korea at 19.1 percent; USA at 13.2 percent; China at 9 percent; Chinese Taipei at 7.7 percent; and other economies at 13.7 percent.

The USA had the highest share of high-speed network-related patents in 2012-2015, accounting for 23.3 percent, followed by Japan at 19.3 percent; China at 13.7 percent; Korea at 13.6 percent; Chinese Taipei at 6.6 percent; and other economies at 23.5 percent.

Korea had the most human interface patents, with a 23.8 percent share, followed by Japan at 22.2 percent; Chinese Taipei at 14.7 percent; USA at 14.6 percent; China at 12.3 percent; and other economies at 12.4 percent.

The USA topped the charts in the mobile communication category, accounting for 21.8 percent of patents, followed by Korea at 18.5 percent; China at 17.2 percent; Japan at 15.9 percent; Sweden at 6.6 percent; and other economies at 20 percent.

The greatest percentage of patents in the "large capacity and information analysis" category was filed in the USA in 2012-2015, at 33 percent, followed by Japan at 20.2 percent; Korea at 10.9 percent; China at 7 percent; Germany at 5.2 percent; and other economies at 23.8 percent.

The highest percentage of patents in the high-speed computing category was also filed in the USA in 2012-2015, at 32.6 percent, followed by Japan at 22.4 percent; Korea at 11.9 percent; Chinese Taipei at 8.5 percent; China at 7.9 percent; and other economies at 16.7 percent.

Japan accounted for the greatest share in "large capacity and high-speed storage patents" in 2012-2015, at 28.4 percent, followed by Korea at 25.8 percent; USA at 21.9 percent; Chinese Taipei at 9.3 percent; China at 4.5 percent; and other economies at 10.1 percent.

The USA filed the highest percentage of security patents in 2012-2015, representing 28 percent, followed by Japan at 17.4 percent; Korea at 10.6 percent; Germany at 5.5 percent; and other economies at 29.6 percent.

The USA also topped the "sensor and device network" category of ICT-related patents, accounting for 21.1 percent, followed by Japan at 20.7 percent; Korea at 12.7 percent; Germany at 10.1 percent; Chinese Taipei at 9 percent; and other economies at 26.4 percent.

Korea was also the top APAC country to receive venture capital investment in 2016, based on percentage of GDP, coming in at 0.9 percent, followed by New Zealand at 0.03 percent, Japan at 0.02 percent, and Australia at 0.01 percent.

In Japan, 44.4 percent of businesses with 10 or more employees had invested in cloud computing tools in 2016, compared to 28.2 percent of businesses in Australia, and 12.9 percent in Korea.

In addition to cloud computing, 3.6 percent of businesses with at least 10 employees in Korea had invested in big data tools in 2016, 35.9 percent in ERP, 15.4 percent in CRM, and 21.8 percent in radio-frequency identification. These breakdowns were not available for other APAC countries.

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