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Article

From BRICS to BRICS plus: selecting promising areas of S&T Cooperation with developing countries

Scientometrics. 2021. Vol. 126. No. 11. P. 8815-8859.

BRICS as an association of five major emerging national economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) has been expanding its international cooperation, in particular with developing countries. This process sometimes is referred as building of a BRICS Plus association. Science and technology, being a key driver of economic growth, is one of the most important area of socioeconomic development. It becomes increasingly complicated, requires expensive research infrastructure, skilled workforce, and high-tech laboratory equipment, therefore no one individual country in the world can afford a full-scale support to all areas of research and development. That is why collaboration in this area is considered a very promising activity. Following the BRICS Plus concept proposed by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in 2017, this paper presents one of the first attempts to identify key priorities to be addressed by BRICS in establishing and enhancing S&T cooperation with a number of major developing countries, primarily from Global South. Based on a set of criteria for country selection (population, economic potential, R&D sector capacities; research output; etc.), 21 countries are considered in this paper as a BRICS Plus group. A detailed analysis of publication activities of BRICS Plus countries and their international scientific collaboration based on a wide range of bibliometric indicators was applied for the identification of promising thematic areas for research collaboration between BRICS and BRICS Plus countries. A special analysis is presented for 14 science, technology, and innovation areas, which are regarded as common priorities for BRICS countries.