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With huge budgets, world-class facilities and a long history of scientific excellence, the leading five countries in the Nature Index (US, China, Germany, UK and Japan) also rely on collaborations to address global challenges.
Image: Kamioka Observatory, ICRR, The University of Tokyo
Their goals may be different, and so may the paths they are taking to reach them, but the universities aged 50 and under featured in this Nature Index supplement are proof that youth need not be a barrier to strong research performance.
Researchers are rethinking the nature and potential of matter. From new metal mixes that form more efficient catalysts to bio-inspired super-black products, their work is driving advances in manufacturing, drug discovery and product design.
As investments and revenues soar year-on-year and nations vie for leadership in the field of artificial intelligence, research output continues its steep, upward trajectory. But there are significant ethical and technical challenges to overcome.