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Expanding the Evidence

Expanding the Evidence

With new metrics and an ever-growing pool of data, this year’s Scorecard offers a more balanced assessment of biotech innovation around the world

The father of relativity, Albert Einstein, once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle, in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Every bike rider knows exactly what Einstein meant. The same might be said of the Scientific American Worldview Scorecard: to keep our momentum, and the accompanying balance, we must keep moving. This Scorecard marks our sixth year of measuring global biotechnology innovation. In our ongoing efforts to objectively document bioscience activity worldwide, we continue to find new ways to fine-tune our methodology.

As the following pages attest, moving ahead for us means collecting more data from the most up-to-date sources we can find. In addition, those data must cover a wide range of countries, meet our requirements for objectivity, and include information on a multiplicity of relevant subjects—from upstream R&D funding and education to later stage commercialization and partnership development. We believe that it’s this broad combination of data that truly reveals a nation’s total strength in biotech capabilities and potential.

When necessary, we expand the types of data used if we feel it creates a better overall picture of international biotech activity. This year, for example, a new data set has been added to our intellectual property (IP) metric. This not only updates the IP section, but it also offers a new dimension to our analysis that bolsters the category’s value.

Furthermore, the 2014 Scorecard introduces a completely new category: Productivity. Many of the components that make up the Scorecard categories track inputs—those factors that fuel bioscience endeavors, such as the variety of financial investments—while the Productivity category expands our measurement of outputs, such as the revenue generated by public companies.

The continuing growth and refinement of the Scorecard metrics not only provide deeper coverage of the global biotech landscape, but they also enhance the value of the results. As expected, the impact of these changes in our analysis is felt in the overall order of the rankings.

Since biotechnology affects so much of the world in so many ways, however, we always make a point to look beyond the Scorecard rankings themselves. This year, we investigate intriguing developments in public markets, agricultural biotechnology, international investing appetites and R&D expenditures.

Delving deeper into the history of the Scorecard, this year we examine Scandinavia’s unwavering success in the industry. In addition, we analyze the correlation between the Scorecard’s output and related metrics, where the results surprised even us.

The growing archive of Scientific American Worldview Scorecards also presents us with enhanced opportunities to track longitudinal trends. Over the past two years, for example, we looked closely at the global economic climate in biotechnology to see if there were indications of recovery. This year’s data give us a conclusive answer. Read on to see what we found!

  • A Guided Tour

    Enhanced with a new guidebook and region-specific ratings, the 2016 Scorecard ventures deeper than ever to track down the latest in biotech innovation