Applied research: Original investigation undertaken to acquire new knowledge; directed primarily, however, toward a specific, practical aim or objective (OECD 2015).

Basic research: Experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundations of phenomena and observable facts, without any particular application or use in view (OECD 2015).

Business sector: For the R&D sections of the report, the business sector as defined by the 2015 Frascati manual consists of both private enterprises (either publicly listed or traded, or not) and government-controlled enterprises that are engaged in market production of goods or services at economically significant prices. Nonprofit entities such as trade associations and industry-controlled research institutes are also classified in the business sector (OECD 2015).

Development (or experimental development): Systematic work, drawing on knowledge gained from research and practical experience and producing additional knowledge, which is directed to producing new products or processes or to improving existing products or processes (OECD 2015).

East-Southeast Asia: The East-Southeast Asia region includes China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

European Union (EU): The EU comprises 28 member nations: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Unless otherwise noted, data on the EU include all 28 nations.

Government sector: For the R&D sections of the report, the government sector as defined by the 2015 Frascati manual includes all federal, state, and local governments, except those that provide higher education services, and all non-market nonprofit institutions that are controlled by government entities that are not part of the higher education sector. This sector excludes public corporations, even when all the equity of such corporations is owned by government entities. Public enterprises are included in the business sector defined above (OECD 2015).

High- and middle-income countries: The World Bank defines a high-income country as one with a gross national income per capita of US$12,235 or more in 2018. Middle-income countries are defined as lower middle-income economies (those with a gross national income per capita between $1,006 and $3,955); and upper middle-income economies (those with a gross national income per capita between $3,956 and $12,235) in 2018. Examples of high-income countries include the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, France, and Spain, and examples of middle-income countries include China, Vietnam, and India (see for a full list of countries in each category).

Higher education sector: For the R&D sections of the report, the higher education sector as defined by the 2015 Frascati manual includes all universities; colleges of technology and other institutions providing formal tertiary education programs, whatever their source of finance or legal status; and all research institutes, centers, experimental stations, and clinics that have their R&D activities under the direct control of, or are administered by, tertiary education institutions (OECD 2015).

Information and communication technologies (ICT) industries: The OECD (2017) defines ICT industries as consisting of the following industries classified under the International Standard Industrial Classification Revision Code 4 (ISIC Rev 4): 26 Computer, electronic, and optical products; 582 Software publishing; 61 Telecommunications; and 62-63 IT and other information services.

Internationally mobile students: Students who have crossed a national or territorial border for purposes of education and are now enrolled outside their countries of origin. This term refers to degree mobility in data collected by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, OECD, and Eurostat, and it excludes students who travel for credit mobility.

Index of highly cited articles: A country’s share of the top 1% most-cited S&E publications divided by the country’s share of all S&E publications. An index greater than 1.00 means that a country contributed a larger share of highly cited publications; an index less than 1.00 means a smaller share.

Invention: The development of something new that has a practical bent—potentially useful, previously unknown, and nonobvious.

Innovation: The implementation of a new or improved product or business process that differs significantly from previous products or processes and that has been introduced in the market or brought into use by the firm (OECD/Eurostat 2018). Data presented in this report are based on an earlier standard definition (OECD/Eurostat 2005).

Knowledge- and technology-intensive industries: Industries classified by the OECD as high-R&D intensive and medium-high R&D intensive industries. The OECD defines R&D intensity as the ratio of an industry’s business R&D expenditures to its value-added output.

Research and development (R&D): Research and experimental development comprise creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge—including knowledge of humankind, culture, and society—and its use to devise new applications of available knowledge. R&D performance and funding estimates are expressed in current dollars and at purchasing power parity for cross-country comparisons.

R&D intensity: A measure of R&D expenditures relative to size, production, financial, or other characteristics for a given R&D-performing unit (e.g., country, sector, company). Examples include R&D-to-GDP ratio and R&D-to-value-added output ratio.

Science and engineering (S&E) fields: Degree award data cover degrees in the following S&E fields: astronomy, chemistry, physics, atmospheric sciences, earth sciences, ocean sciences, mathematics and statistics, computer sciences, agricultural sciences, biological sciences, psychology, social sciences, and engineering. At the doctoral level, the medical and health sciences are included under S&E because these data correspond to the doctor’s research/scholarship degree level, which are research-focused degrees.

Science and engineering (S&E) occupations: Biological, agricultural, and environmental life scientists; computer and mathematical scientists; physical scientists; social scientists; and engineers, including postsecondary teachers in these fields. S&E managers and technicians and health-related occupations are categorized as S&E-related and are not included in S&E.

Skilled technical workforce: Workers in occupations that use significant levels of S&E expertise and technical knowledge and whose educational attainment is less than a bachelor’s degree.

South Asia: The South Asia region includes Cambodia, India, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Stay rate: The proportion of foreign recipients of U.S. S&E doctorates who stay in the United States after receiving their doctorate. The 5-year stay rate is discussed in this report.

Underrepresented minorities (URM): This category comprises three racial or ethnic minority groups (blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, and American Indians or Alaska Natives) whose representation in S&E education or occupations is smaller than their representation in the U.S. population.

Value-added output: A measure of industry production that is the amount contributed by a country, firm, or other entity to the value of the good or service. It excludes double-counting of the country, industry, firm, or other entity purchases of domestic and imported supplies and inputs from other countries, industries, firms, and other entities.

Key to Acronyms and Abbreviations

ACS: American Community Survey

AI: Artificial intelligence

BRDIS: Business R&D and Innovation Survey

DHS: Department of Homeland Security

ED: Department of Education

EU: European Union

FFRDC: federally funded R&D center

GDP: gross domestic product

GSS: General Social Survey

ICE: Immigration and Customs Enforcement

ICT: information and communication technologies

IMF: International Monetary Fund

INPADOC: International Patent Documentation

NAEP: National Assessment of Educational Progress

NCES: National Center for Education Statistics

NCSES: National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

NSCG: National Survey of College Graduates

NSF: National Science Foundation

OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

PATSTAT: Patent Statistical Database of the European Patent Office

PPP: purchasing power parity

R&D: research and [experimental] development

ROW: rest of world

S&E: science and engineering

S&T: science and technology

SESTAT: Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System

SEVIS: Student and Exchange Visitor Information System

STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics

TIMSS: Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study

UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UN: United Nations

URM: underrepresented minority

USPTO: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office