Impact Assessment of Innovation Policy

Assessing the impacts of knowledge transfer and policy - OECD project

The OECD project ‘Assessing the impacts of the policy mix for knowledge transfer between industry and science’ analyses the impacts of public research institutions on innovation performance, and explores the range of policy instruments implemented across countries to support science-industry knowledge transfer. 

This project is a follow-up of work conducted in 2015-16 on impact assessment of public research. The 2017-18 project is implemented by  the Working Party on Innovation and Technology Policy (TIP) under the auspices of the OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP).


The project in short (PDF)


Background Information:

 What is Impact Assessment?    |  Current practices and challenges   | Methodology Overview

Latest news

Recent workshop: "Boosting knowledge transfer between science and industry: New models and business practices" 

Paris, 14 March 2018

Organised jointly by France Stratégie and the OECD

Find the summary of discussions here (NEW!)

Recent workshop: "Semantic analysis for innovation policy"

Paris, 12-13 March 2018

Find the summary of discussions here (NEW!)

Project activities (2017-18)

Assessing the impacts of knowledge transfer and policy

This project has two strands of work:

1. Assessing the impacts of research institutions on innovation performance 

While there is rich case study evidence on the contributions of public research on innovation, cross-country statistical evidence on such impacts is scarce. Moreover, little is known about the importance of different impact channels and on how the characteristics of industry and research facilitate or weaken knowledge transfer. 

This activity will produce new cross-country evidence to provide answers to key questions, including:

  • Which impact channels are the most important drivers of knowledge transfer? 
  • What is the impact of industry and research characteristics on those channels? 
  • What are the contributions of public research to new high-impact inventions
  • What is the role of knowledge intermediaries in fostering the relationship? 


2. Policy instruments and mixes for science-industry knowledge transfer

A variety of policy instruments aim at fostering industry-research knowledge flows. Student and research entrepreneurship support policies, for instance, constitute relevant approaches to support spin-off creation. 

This activity will conduct a mapping of policies implemented across OECD countries to support knowledge transfer and provide answers to key questions including:

  • What barriers to knowledge transfer do they specifically address? 
  • What are the synergies and possible conflicting effects across instruments? 
  • What social and economic conditions may influence the impacts of these policies? 
  • What policy coordination approaches have been implemented to steer policies for knowledge transfer? 

This project also gathers evidence on governance approaches implemented to optimise the policy mix for knowledge transfer.


Project activities (2015-16)

Assessing the impacts of public research

Overview of project activities (2015-16)

The project had three strands of work:

1. Characterising different university systems and their impacts

The objective was to provide new empirical evidence on the impacts of university systems on research, education and innovation outcomes. There are two topics for analysis: (1) Characterisation of different national university systems; and (2) Characteristics of university systems and impacts on innovation at regional level.

2. Mapping of public research policies

The objective was to develop cross-country indicators of the governance of public research policies. Such comparable data will allow for learning about cross-country differences in policy approaches.

3. Assessing the contribution of specific scientific disciplines to industrial innovation

The objective was to provide evidence on the contributions of specific scientific disciplines to specific industry sectors. Such evidence allows for better identifying research priorities and contributions in view of industry needs. This activity also analyses the different metholodogical approaches for best conducting such assessments. 


For further details on these activities, please click here.

Past events

  • CSTP Workshop on Assessing the Impact of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Instruments with Common Objectives – Paris, October 2014 
  • OECD-Estonia Workshop on Impact Assessment: Practices, Techniques and Policy Challenges – Tallin, May 2014

Relevant OECD reports

Presentation 2015-16 project

Recent events

Workshop: "Stimulating knowledge transfer: challenges and policy responses" 

Lisbon, 6-7 November 2017

(Organised jointly by Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), the Ministry for Science, Technology and Higher Education and the OECD)

Summary of discussions