According to a recent study published by the Royal Society, the United States is the leading nation when it comes to scientific innovation.
The study, entitled Knowledge, Networks and Nations: Global Scientific Collaboration in the 21st Century, found that U.S. scientific research leads in both quantity and quality.
The U.S. spends more on research and development than any other country and American scientists publish the most scientific papers. Additionally, there are more citations of U.S. scientific works than any others, according to the study.
The study also found that, while the U.S. and other Western countries continue to lead the field, emerging nations, such as China, are catching up.
According to a recent Intellectual Asset Management report, Western countries can do little to compete with the growing quantity of research and innovation originating in emerging countries. They can, however, work to maintain a lead in quality.
Western countries have the "best universities and research institutions," the report said. Given the "talent and the work it produces," as well as capital, "fully functional intellectual property infrastructure and the rule of law," Western democracies have the tools they need to continue producing the kinds of innovative activity that enable sustained economic growth, the report said.