News

  • Recent events where science advice has been called into question include Ebola, Fukushima and the L'Aquila earthquake. If science is to answer the complex and controversial questions being asked by policy makers, the media and the public, scientific advice must be effective, transparent, and legitimate.

    Scientific Advice for Policy Making: The Role and Responsibility of Expert Bodies and Individual Scientists</a> argues that governments would benefit from agreeing common principles for developing and communicating scientific advice, both in crisis situations and for long-term policy making. Governments should also differentiate advisory roles from policy decision-making roles, and define from the outset the legal responsibilities and potential liability of advisors.

  • Squeezed budgets in the EU, US and Japan are reducing the weight of advanced economies in science and technology research and leaving China on track to be the world’s top R&D spender by around 2019. The OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2014 finds that with R&D spending by most OECD governments and businesses yet to recover from the economic crisis, the OECD’s share in global R&D spending has slipped from 90% to 70% in a decade. The report warns that with public finances still tight in many countries, the ability of governments to compensate for lower business R&D with public funding, as they did during the worst of the economic downturn, has become more limited.

  • Space Economy at a Glance highlights some of the key results from ongoing OECD work on the economic dimensions of Space research and development, including findings on the Space sector’s global value chains and a review of innovation dynamics that may revolutionise the sector. While space budgets in the 34 OECD countries totalled USD 50.8 billion in 2013, down from USD 52.3 billion in 2008, the combined space budget of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) swelled to USD 24.0 billion from USD 16.5 billion over the same period. Supply chains for spacecraft, launchers and parts are increasingly globalised, IT companies are becoming satellite operators and rapid growth in small satellite launches will mean more commercialisation of earth observation data. This will increase the opportunities for start-ups and emerging economies to get into the space sector, according to the report, but it means governments should keep up their spending on space R&D, which can yield big returns in the form of new technologies, and invest in industry niches where they can be competitive in this new space race.

  • The role of government and R&D performance are central to this review of Viet Nam, to be launched in Hanoi on 24 November, 2014. OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy offer a comprehensive assessment of the innovation system of individual OECD member countries and non-member economies, focusing on the role of government. They provide concrete recommendations on how to improve policies that affect innovation performance, including R&D policies.

  • Companies that base their decisions on data and analytics outperform other firms. Substantial social benefits are expected from the collection and analysis of data, for example, when addressing ageing societies and natural disasters. But the use of data and analytics comes with serious policy challenges, including the promotion of trust among individuals and the development of data-analytics skills that, if not supplied, could lead to missed opportunities for job creation in the data-driven economy. This year’s Global Forum on the Knowledge Economy brought together a wide range of high-level panellists focusing on data-driven innovation.

  • Increasing productivity is critical to achieving strong, sustainable and inclusive growth and well-being.Technological change and innovation are the key drivers of increased productivity, along with better skills and organisational change. But despite ever greater investments in knowledge and innovation, productivity growth in many countries has been slowing in recent years - at a time when important challenges, such as demographic trends, urbanisation and climate change, make the need for innovation all the more urgent. Together with the National Bureau of Economic Research of the US and leading panellists from academia, the OECD will be debating these questions and their policy implications.

  • The OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (STI) supported business leaders from G20 economies gathered for the ‘B20’ in Sydney on 16-18 July 2014, to discuss the twenty mutually reinforcing recommendations that they developed to drive global economic growth and create jobs. OECD STI supports two recommendations in particular: countries should establish a national innovation agenda and accompanying structural reforms to create jobs, and should remove barriers inhibiting entrepreneurs from starting and growing businesses. In November, business leaders will present the final B20 recommendations to Leaders at the G20 Summit in Brisbane.

  • Visit our video library, recently updated with videos from the Innovation for Growth and Shared Prosperity Conference. The conference covered the links between innovation, productivity, and economic growth; the drivers of innovation; and innovation policy as a tool for poverty reduction and shared prosperity. Now you are able to watch all the experts' presentations.

  • The Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) has launched its online platform, which is now open to the public. It provides a unique collection of innovations from a wide range of sectors across the world to inspire innovators in other countries: from the use of social media as a service channel for young students in Australia, or the application of behavioral theory to collect tax debts in the United Kingdom; to lean management to improve the quality of service and working conditions in hospitals in France, or partnering with private entities to provide social welfare payments in Mexico. Join the OPSI community to find examples of innovations and share your own experiences with others.

  • 2 July 2014, OECD Conference Centre, Paris, 9:30-17:30. The 2014 OECD Global Forum on Development (GFD) will focus on “Innovating for Development: Rethinking Structural Challenges for Post-2015”. This Forum is organised by the OECD Development Centre and Development Co-operation Directorate in co-operation with the Science, Technology and Industry Directorate of the OECD. The GFD will gather representatives of governments from OECD and non-OECD member countries, international organisations, academia, foundations, private sector and OECD experts to discuss the role of innovation in tackling lagging productivity growth and development challenges more generally. The Forum will look at the role of innovation in development from several points of view: i) What is the potential for innovation to unleash new sources of growth and overcome structural bottlenecks to development? What strategies and policies work best to support innovation and productivity growth? ii) What innovative approaches can support developing countries’ efforts to achieve more inclusive development? iii) What kind of innovation can best deliver inclusive development and reach the poor?