Crop Biotech Update

Report Says Developing World Achieves Significant Growth in Biotechnology

November 23, 2016

A new report released by Beijing-based CAS-TWAS Centre of Excellence for Biotechnology says that 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.

Biotechnology in Developing Countries: Growth and Competitiveness is the first extensive document summarizing the development status of a specific technology area in the developing world, according to Bai Chunli, president of both CAS and TWAS. He added that "it provides a strong, valuable assessment of biotechnology activities in developing countries, as measured in scientific publications and patents."

The report is a broad survey of research and development work from 2005 to 2014. Its major findings include:

  • Biotechnology research grew 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.

To read the full report, visit the TWAS website.