The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released Science & Engineering Indicators 2008, its comprehensive biennial analysis of the U.S. and international science and technology landscape. This version provides thorough details about the features of a rapidly-changing global economy, as countries continue to make investments in their knowledge-based capacity and industries. The report provides some of the most current and succinct illustrations of how, over a relatively short period of time, China and other Asian countries have quickly ascended in economic size and international science and technology prominence. The U.S., due to its large and diversified science and technology infrastructure and industry, is holding its own when compared to the rest of the world. Japan and the E.U., however, are beginning to slip in a variety of comparative metrics. As the entire world is realizing the benefits of knowledge-intensive economies, the bar is continually rising as countries push to improve education, high-tech industrial development, and R&D advancement, the report points out.
An example of this shift can be found in high-technology manufacturing from 1985 to 2005. In this period, the U.S. share of the world