Nature Outlook |

Science-led economies

There is no one-size-fits-all recipe for building a strong, research-based economy. Many countries are trying to find a balance between public and private investment in research and development. And developing countries often pursue research with more immediate commercial or social promise instead of basic science.

This Nature Outlook explores the elements that make up a strong science-led economy, the role research-funding policy has, and how the diverse needs of research economies around the globe may be met. It specifically looks at the science funding and policy scenes in Germany, China, Singapore, the Middle East, Rwanda, Russia, Australia and the US state of Massachusetts. Each location has lessons for policymakers as they embark on creating science-led economies.

For more on science-led economies from, see:


More money than ever is being invested in research and development. Countries that previously spent little are now pumping money into science to secure their future economic growth. By Alla Katsnelson, infographic by Alisdair Macdonald.

Outlook | | Nature

Chinese researchers are benefiting as the government looks to science to lead the economic transition to become a world-leader in the production of high-value technology.

Outlook | | Nature

Germany's Excellence Initiative was highly debated. With its successor approved, scientists are asking whether equality and scientific freedom can be preserved in a world of competition.

Outlook | | Nature

Australian politicians are embracing innovation as the wellspring for future wealth, but will it come at the expense of basic and fundamental research?

Outlook | | Nature

Singapore has made impressive progress towards putting science at the centre of its economy — but can it afford to continue on its trajectory?

Outlook | | Nature

The Boston region has become a hotbed for life-science jobs, thanks to a constant push to meld research and industry.

Outlook | | Nature

Fostering the connection between science funding and economic growth needs to be based on thoughtful measurement, says Julia Lane.

Outlook | | Nature

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