Performance Monitoring Asia-Pacific Research Area (APRA), Phase I

  • The Asia-Pacific region comprises about half of the world's population and is developing with great dynamism. Investments in Research & Development confirm its importance. To obtain an evidence base for the strategic further development of cooperation, the Federal Ministry for Education and Research initiated the Performance Monitoring of the Asia-Pacific Research Area. Together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the GIGA investigates the R&D landscape in the region. BMBF, 2018-2021


    Axel Karpenstein

    Rajnish Tiwari


    Dr. habil. Henning Kroll

    Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI

    Research Questions

    The objective of the APRA-Monitoring is to capture Asia-Pacific Research Area’s (APRA) scientific, technological and innovation performance over time and to compare it with the performance of the European Research Area (ERA) and the North American Research Area (USA / CAN). The project will investigate the following questions:
    - With which countries in the region is Germany already cooperating successfully? What are unexploited potentials (common themes, high-performance partners, etc) for Germany in bilateral cooperation?
    - Where do new topics emerge that are relevant for Germany in bilateral cooperation? To what extent does Germany participate in important thematic trends in APRA?
    - Which institutions and possibly regions within important partner countries are relevant for bilateral cooperation?
    - Where does the emergence of APRA create new competitive situations for Germany?

    Contribution to International Research

    The Asia Pacific Research Area (APRA, consisting of Australia, China (incl. Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam) is developing very dynamically. About one third of all transnational patent applications and about one third of all scientific publications worldwide are generated with the participation of at least one inventor/ author from the APRA-region. The R&D expenditure has shifted significantly to Asia in recent years, and the dynamics of patent and publication output are also significantly higher in many Asian countries than on global average. In addition, research cooperation within the APRA-region is intensifying, so is the cooperation between individual Asian countries and European or American partners.  
    The main objective is to assess the development of APRA as another key innovation-oriented region, and to evaluate the effects on Germany and Europe as well as on the worldwide structure of knowledge and innovation production.

    Research Design and Methods

    In order to answer the key questions as well as other detailed questions, a set of basic data (see below) is collected and used together with qualitative information and data for contextualisation.
    Set of basic quantitative data: In addition to patents and scientific publications, this also includes data on qualified employment, universities, mobility of researchers and students, university collaborations, transnational education, R & D expenditures, rankings, foreign trade, and economic parameters. We will calculate a „cooperation index“ as a so-called composite indicator for individual countries as well as for APRA as a whole.

    Preliminary Findings

    The monitoring of the Asia-Pacific region is the basis for evidence-based policy making, and seen as key input for future policy decisions in science and technology in Germany. The findings of APRA so far were published in two major reports in 2019 and 2020.
    The analyses are based on large data sets on various research and education indicators, such as expenditures, (co-)publications, (co-)patents. Individual data sheets are available for all countries covered in the report. The data collected and prepared as a basis for the publications can be made available to third parties for scientific use.
    The 2019 report deals with the main topics of quantum research, medical technology and talent mobility. It also includes an extensive chapter on "China's Reorientation of the Science, Technology and Innovation System". The 2020 report focuses on the life sciences, materials research and education hubs. The report’s part on the development of the Chinese research and education system focuses on Chinese-European cooperation. A third report will be published in 2021.

    Contribution | 2021

    APRA-Performance Monitoring mit Schwerpunkt Indien, 3. Bericht (2021)

    Dr. habil. Henning Kroll

    Prof. Dr. Kerstin Cuhls

    Naomi Knüttgen

    Peter Neuhäusler

    Dr. Christian Schäfer

    Rajnish Tiwari


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