Innovation actors (OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy: Russian Federation 2011)

The definition of a country's innovation system has major implications for the balance and mix of policies needed to improve innovation system performance and for the amount of communication and co-ordination required to create holistic innovation policies. To the extent that countries operate within the confines of a narrow "innovation system map" focused on science and technology and the formal research and development (R&D) system, they are likely to be guided towards policy choices that optimise the formal part of the system at the expense of the whole. However, with the emergence of a broader perspective on innovation systems over the last decade or so, governments increasingly tend to develop more holistic innovation and research policies. With this broader perspective in mind, this chapter provides an overall assessment of the innovation and research activities of the business sector and of the public science and education systems, and of the stock and flow of human resources. It begins with business firms, the central actors in any well-functioning innovation system. It explores the explanations of low levels of R&D spending and broadens the perspective on innovation by firms to take account of non-R&D and non-technological innovation. It then considers the public sector research system, with particular attention to the academies of science and the higher education sector. A final section covers the human resource dimension of innovation.
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