AZ survey taps China as world's most innovative country in 2020

With R&D ventures exploding in China and India, an international survey conducted by AstraZeneca ($AZN) found a strong belief that the two Asian countries are on their way to overtaking the U.S. and Japan as the most innovative countries on the planet.

Currently, the U.S. is ranked as the most innovative nation by 30 percent of the 6,000 people in six countries surveyed by the pharma giant. Japan comes in a close second with 25 percent of the vote. However, 27 percent believe China will be the go-to place for technological innovation by 2020; 17 percent picked India. Only 14 percent believe that the U.S. can hang on to the title.

Those are significant numbers for the biopharma industry, which has been investing billions of dollars in building drug R&D ops in Asia. AstraZeneca has joined the scientific migration to China as companies position themselves to tap less expensive expertise while advancing new drugs for the world's population.

Most of the respondents in the U.S., Britain and Japan say that their countries are not as inventive as they once were. Interestingly, the pharmaceuticals industry was tagged as the third most inventive industry in the world, following IT and telecom and coming in ahead of the auto industry.

- get the AstraZeneca press release
- here's the Reuters report