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EghtesadOnline: According to a new report published recently by the Statistical Center of Iran on the occasion of ‘Research Day’ in Iran (Dec. 16), 83,637 research and development projects were conducted during the fiscal 2015-16, 53.98% of which (45,152) were applied projects.

The number of development projects conducted during the year witnessed a 41.2% growth compared to the fiscal 2013-14, SCI reported on its official website. 

The report noted that foundation projects increased during the year, but the number of applied projects declined.

The survey covered workshops with 50 or more employees that have R&D departments. 

The analysis of researchers, based on educational degree, in workshops that have R&D activities shows among the 64,778 full-time researchers during the year, 39,070 (60.3%) held PhDs, while 15,046 (23.2%) held Master’s and professional doctorates, 8,066 (12.5%) held Bachelor’s and 2,597 (4%) had high school diploma and associate degrees, according to Financial Tribune.

Compared to the fiscal 2013-14, the number of researchers with PhD, Master’s and professional doctorates increased, but those with Bachelor’s, high school diploma and associate degrees declined.

The report also reveals that the number of full-time research staff in workshops conducting R&D activities totaled 26,943 during the fiscal 2015-16, including 8,672 (32.2%) research assistants, 3,933 (14.6%) technicians and 14,338 (53.2%) office, support and service employees.

The number of research staff had a downward trend compared to the fiscal 2013-14.

Regarding R&D expenditures, 47.66 trillion rials ($467.33 million) were invested in 2,160 workshops conducting R&D activities, 36.91 trillion rials ($361.92 million) of which pertained to current expenditure and 10.75 trillion rials ($105.41 million) to capital costs.

The investment in R&D almost doubled in the year compared with the fiscal March 2013-14 due to the rise in the number of workshops.

Advanced countries are investing more and more in R&D to keep up with the ever-changing dynamics in global markets. 

According to the latest figures of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, global spending on R&D reached a record high of almost $1.7 trillion. About 10 countries account for 80% of spending. 

As part of the Sustainable Development Goals, countries have pledged to substantially increase public and private R&D spending as well as the number of researchers by 2030.

UNESCO adjusted the figures to reflect purchasing power parity, which makes it possible to compare amounts from country to country. The numbers include government, private, academic and non-profit investments into research and development, painting a complete picture of the R&D market across the world.

Top 10 countries investing the most money in research and development are the United States with $476.5 billion, China with $370.6 billion, Japan with $170.5 billion, Germany with $109.8 billion, South Korea with $73.2 billion, France with $60.8 billion, India with $48.1 billion, the United Kingdom with $44.2 billion, Brazil with $42.1 billion and Russia with $39.8 billion. 

In fact, 10 countries account for about 80% of the entire global outlay. The US is far above and beyond the rest of the globe, contributing $100 billion more than second-place China. 

A deeper look into UNESCO’s data reveals another leading indicator: whereas the US employs 4,295 researchers per million inhabitants, China only has 1,096. Of course, China is home to a lot more people than the US, but the American dominance over the R&D market is clear, accounting for 27% of the entire global expenditure. That is significantly more than the bottom 100 countries combined.

According to the UNESCO data, the number of researchers per million inhabitants in Iran stands at 671.


Iran Statistical Center of Iran SCI R&D Survey