The UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) commissioned Elsevier to assess the performance of the UK’s research base compared with seven other research-intensive countries (Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US), three other fast growing nations (Brazil, Russia and India) and other international benchmarks.

The report, ‘International Comparative Performance of the UK Research Base – 2013,’ is the second consecutive report in this series to be delivered by Elsevier, the first having been published in October 2011.

A slight decrease in share of published research is seen in Canada, Germany, France and Italy, while Russia and, markedly, Japan continue to decrease in article share each year. Conversely, China and India exhibit remarkable year-on-year growth in article share, with India exceeding the article shares of Canada and Italy since 2011.

Article Share by Country

Share of world articles for the UK and comparators (also Brazil, India and Russia), 2008-2012 excluding the US and China for clarity. Source: Scopus

Brazil, India and Russia, and to a lesser extent China, are distinguished from the other comparator countries by being the only ones with a rising rate of national co-author-ship in recent years.

Research in India by Sector

Research in India by Sector

The growth in research in India brings with it a massive explosion of knowledge sharing and exchange. This acts as a driver that will help create opportunities for collaborative work across a variety of industries between India’s highly skilled and growing technical sector and the rest of the world.

Selected Quotes

Business also brings in problems which are very often a fantastic stimulus to the basic research because in the basic research you tend to ask questions and then you go and you try and solve them. If you bring in questions from business, very often those questions can be very stimulating, because they force you to look at things in different ways. As a result of that, you think you have a solution to a problem; you go and talk to people in industry who you believe have a need in that area, but what will come back to you is something that actually completely throws what you’ve achieved because it turns out that you haven’t really solved the key problem, or the problems are not quite as you thought they were. So actually it’s both a fantastic stimulus for the basic research but it’s also very important that our work is relevant.” — David Hogg, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Pro-Vice- Chancellor for Research and Innovation, University of Leeds

We want talent in the universities, and we also want talent in our own business, so we are looking to them for assistance in identifying good people for recruitment in all levels.” — Mr Mark Jefferies, Chief of University Research Liaison for Rolls-Royce