Biotechnology: A Growing Field in the Developing World

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Abstract or Summary

The developing world is achieving significant growth in a broad cross-section of biotechnology fields, many of them directly tied to food production, health and other dimensions of human well-being. The report highlights the important role of international collaboration in the rapid pace of growth in the field, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

The report found that from 2005 to 2014:

  • Biotechnology research has grown steadily, with a 117% increase in published studies. However, biotechnology research from the developing world is less cited in other research papers – only about 83% as much.
  • Over 85% of the biotech papers that were co-authored by science-and-technology lagging countries resulted from international collaborations. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa in particular benefited from international collaboration, resulting in a notably high impact.
  • Patent filings in the developing world have been most active in industry, food and environmental biotechnology sectors. Most of those patents have been new enzymes, totalling 79,694 – comprising of more than 40% of the overall patents.
  • China leads in biotechnology papers produced in the ten-year period with 78,263, followed by India with 24,081 and Brazil with 17,769. It also leads all countries with 149,339 patent families, followed by India with 15,420 and Mexico with 14,574


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