According to the International Monetary Fund, the emerging markets this year accounted for more than half of the world GDP in terms of purchasing power. Brazil, Russia, India and China (known as the ‘BRIC’ economies) in particular are expected to become a much larger force in the world economy in the next few decades, currently accounting for four of ten largest economies in the world. Other countries with growth potential include South Africa, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Turkey.
Important drivers for economic growth are increased outputs in science, technology and innovation, which improve products, processes and competitiveness. The amount of government and business investment in research and development is increasing steadily in BRIC countries, as is the growth in R&D personnel. China’s spend on R&D has increased by 20% per year since 1999 and stood in the region of US$100 billion in 2007 (1.44% of GDP) whilst Brazil is aiming to have an R&D spend of 2.5% of GDP by 2022. This is reflected in research output - China is now the second highest producer of research output worldwide, and India is ranked number 10. The EU recognises the potential in this growth and is taking steps to nurture cooperation through policy agreements and joint funding of R&D. Although these nations are investing in their own research, much of the innovation is built upon other countries’ technologies, particularly in China, South Africa and Indonesia.
There is a growing interest amongst the emerging nations in the opportunities created from growth in the bioeconomy. China, Malaysia, Brazil and South Africa have adopted strategies for growing their national bioeconomies, with South Africa proposing R2-billion of venture-capital funding to take their strategy forward. China and India in particular are developing strong research profiles in engineering whilst Brazil is focused on agriculture and biosciences. India in particular is showing innovation strength in biotechnology whilst China shows strength in environmental technology, with these countries spending 100 billion and 120 billion US$ respectively on agricultural biotechnology R&D per year. This development partly stems from the potential for a successful bioeconomy to address many challenges facing these countries, such as a growing population, food insecurity and declining resources.
It is clear is that there is an interest in the bioeconomy, an enthusiasm for innovation to drive their economic growth, and the economic potential for investment in bioeconomy R&D, from the emerging economies. EU KBBE projects could benefit from exposure in these countries, through research collaboration or through attracting the investment interests of businesses who are keen to develop and showcase innovative technologies.
One way in which projects can increase their exposure in these countries is through publishing research findings in the scientific literature of emerging nations. Journals such as Current Science (India) have published papers on the broad topic of the bioeconomy. Other journals specialise on specific topics within the bioeconomy field such as the Journal of Food Science And Technology (India), Scientia Agricola (Brazil), Pesquisa Agropecuaria Brasileira (Brazil), the Journal of Biosciences (India), the Journal of Environmental Biology (India) and the Journal of Environmental Sciences (China). There are also a wide range of technology and engineering journals based in India and China including Science China-Technological Sciences, the Journal of the Chinese Institute of Engineers, Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering (China) and the Journal of the Institution of Engineers (India). In addition, general science journals can be an opportunity for European researchers hoping to have a broader reach, such as Indian Journal of Science and Technology, Chinese Science Bulletin and Anais Da Academia Brasileira De Ciencias (Brazil).
With a large number of journals relevant to the bioeconomy field published in China, India and South America, could there be a place for them in your dissemination strategy?
The Economist – When giants slow down
The Royal Society - Knowledge, networks and national final report
KPMG - The BRICS Corridor: Agriculture and Agro-Processing
OECD - The Bioeconomy in the OECD Countries and Beyond