EghtesadOnline: From around 98,000 economic and industrial production units, only 2,000 or about 2% have a research and development department.
This is a huge gap that should be bridged if production units want to operate in the international markets, Barat Qobadiyan, deputy industries minister for training, research and technology affairs said.
“At present, our universities have 80,000 faculty members and more than 1.2 million postgraduate students. We can use their expertise to overcome shortfalls in our economic and industrial units,” the official was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Advanced countries are investing more and more in R&D to keep up with the ever-changing dynamics in global markets, according to Financial Tribune.
The latest data indicate over $497 billion were spent on research and development in the US, more than $400 billion in China and $170 billion in Japan in 2014.
The 10-year average ratio of expenditures on research and development to GDP in the three countries is at 4.2%, 3.6% and 3.4% respectively. The ratio stands at 2.4% in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development states and the global average is 2.1%.
This ratio is a meager 0.4% in Iran, the Persian economic weekly Tejarat-e Farda said.
Per capita spending on R&D in the three countries based on their purchasing power parity is over $1,500. The average is at $764 in Europe, $700 in Qatar, $344 in Malaysia and close to $200 in Turkey, while it stands at a mere $50 in Iran.
According to UNESCO, the Iranian government provides 56% of the investments made in R&D while universities provide 33% and companies only shell out 11%.
Since prominent universities in Iran are state-owned, the government is obliged to bear a significant portion of investments directly or indirectly.