A newly published report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reveals the state of digital technology adoption, development and related research when it comes to digital transformation, manufacturing automation and providing skill sets for workers that will help carry them in the future.
The “OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2017” found that when it comes to the internet of things (IoT), the United States leads other G20 countries. It also garners the largest share of the top 10 percent most-cited scientific publications in the world. But that’s where the very good news ends. According to the OECD, that share of the top scientific publications is dwindling as more and higher-quality research is increasingly coming from China. The United States is also below average when it comes to the adoption of robots in manufacturing.
The top five economies when it comes to developing digital technologies? China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea and the United States. According to the report, India and eastern Europe are becoming more substantially involved in innovation and science.
Key findings in the 2017 Scoreboard include:
- China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea and the United States accounted for 70 percent to 100 percent of the 20 fastest growing new information and communications technologies (such as payment protocols or interactive TV) between 2012 and 2015, as measured by inventions patented in the five top intellectual property (IP) offices.
- Korea and Japan are the leaders in robot intensity, which is measured as the number of robots used in a sector divided by the overall value created by that sector, giving a sense of the pace of automation relative to industry size. Robot intensity is rising in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovak Republic and Slovenia and in the BRICS—most notably in China, which is fast catching up to U.S. levels.
- IoT, or machine-to-machine communication via internet-connected devices such as vehicles, sensors or home appliances, is growing fast. China had the most SIM cards in machines in 2017 at 228 million subscriptions, accounting for 44 percent of global M2M connections and three times the U.S. share. In terms of M2M cards per person, the United States is in the lead among G20 countries, but ranks sixth globally behind Sweden, New Zealand, Norway, the Netherlands and Finland.
- The number of artificial intelligence technologies patented in the five top IP offices rose by 6 percent a year on average over 2010-2015, led by Japan. Japan, Korea and the United States. Together those countries accounted for over 62 percent of AI-related IP5 patent applications, down from 70 percent in 2000-2005, as filings rose from China and Chinese Taipei. EU countries contributed to 12 percent of the top AI inventions, down from 19 percent in the previous decade.
- The United States has the biggest share of the world’s top 10 percent most-cited scientific publications, and China has overtaken the UK for second place after tripling its high-impact output in a decade. The U.S. share of top-cited research fell to 26 percent in 2016 from 38 percent in 2005, the UK slipped to 6 percent from 8 percent and China increased its share to 14 percent from 4 percent.