China and the United States lead the way, owning nearly 70% of all materials-related patents (China owns 59%). This is largely the result of long-term national investment strategies. The United States Government launched the Materials Genome Initiative in 2011. It focused on ‘discovering, manufacturing, and deploying advanced materials twice as fast and at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional methods’ (MGI Website, 2022). R&D activities were particularly focused on computer and electronic products followed by transportation and medical devices. Funding of materials science in China has quadrupled since 2008 and the number of scientific papers tripled between 2006 and 2017 to around 40,000 papers.
The number of patents related to materials science will continue to grow.