Countries Compete to be Digital Transformers

Countries Compete to be Digital Transformers

U.S. is on top of IoT, but lags in robotics.

The pursuit to digital transformation and adoption is a global one, and as technology reshapes our everyday lives, countries compete to keep up. They’re developing new tech, automating manufacturing and preparing the right skill sets for the future.

But some countries have their strengths in certain areas of IT, and others climb the ranks. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development pulled from “200 indicators drawing on the latest internationally comparable data” to form its 2017 OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard. It uncovers the countries on top and shows how the transformation is affecting science, innovation, the economy and citizens’ lives so governments can prepare policies for a digital era.

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The G20 includes: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

Science, Innovation and the Digital Revolution

  • The U.S. is a leader in the internet of things among the G20 economies. It had the highest number of machine-to-machine communication, or SIM cards, per person, in June 2017, but ranks sixth globally.

  • In terms of SIM cards in machines, China had the most in 2017, accounting for 44 percent of global M2M connections and three times the U.S. share.

  • The U.S. produces the most scientific documents on machine learning. It has the biggest share of the world’s top 10 percent of most-cited scientific publications — but that share is declining as China produces more (and better-quality) scientific research.

Growth, Jobs and Digital Transformation

  • The U.S. lags in robot intensity (measured as the number of robots used in a sector divided by the overall value created by that sector). The U.S. measures at one-sixth of the robot intensity in Korea and one-fifth of that in Japan. Korea and Japan lead in robot intensity, and China is catching up to U.S. levels.

  • From 2010 to 2016, the U.S. had the largest net employment gains in the OECD of more than 12 million jobs, topping Turkey, Germany and the U.K. These net gains are recorded in wholesale and retail trade, business and public services, and manufacturing and construction.

  • China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea and the U.S. lead the way in developing cutting-edge digital technologies.

Artificial Intelligence

  • AI is also growing, as the number of technologies patented in the 5 top intellectual property offices rose by 6 percent a year from 2010 to 2015.

  • Japan, Korea and the U.S. accounted for more than 62 percent of AI-related IP5 patent applications, and European Union countries account for 12 percent of the top AI inventions. These shares have actually dropped from previous years because of a rise in Chinese filings.

  • From 2012 to 2014, corporations based in Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei and China accounted for 70 percent of all AI-related inventions belonging to the world’s 2,000 top corporate R&D investors and their affiliates. Firms headquartered in the U.S. accounted for 18 percent of those inventions.