OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy

1993-4211 (online)
1993-4203 (print)
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The OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy offer a comprehensive assessment of the innovation system of individual OECD countries and partner economies, focusing on the role of government. They provide concrete recommendations on how to improve policies that affect innovation performance, including R&D policies. Each review identifies good practices from which other countries can learn.

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OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy: Costa Rica 2017

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20 Apr 2017
9789264271654 (PDF) ;9789264271630(print)

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Costa Rica’s successful economic performance and social achievements realised over the last three decades are widely acknowledged. GDP per capita has steadily increased at higher rates than in most Latin American countries as the economy has evolved along its development path from a rural and agriculture-based to a more diversified economy integrated in global value chains. But Costa Rica faces challenges and must enhance and broaden the basis for productivity growth by strengthening its innovation system and enhancing the role of science, technology and innovation in addressing its national development goals.

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  • Foreword

    The OECD Review of Innovation Policy in Costa Rica is part of a series of OECD country reviews of innovation policy.* It was requested by the Costa Rican authorities, and was carried out by the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation under the auspices of the Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP). Special thanks are due to Vice-President Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría, Minister Marcelo Jenkins (Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications, MICITT) and Minister Alexander Mora (COMEX) for their time and support. The British Embassy in Costa Rica provided generous financial support.

  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary

    Costa Rica’s successful economic performance and social achievements realised over the last decades are widely acknowledged. Gross domestic product per capita has steadily increased at higher rates than in most Latin American countries as Costa Rica has evolved from a rural and agriculture-based economy to one with a more diversified structure integrated into global value chains. The process of opening up to international trade and attracting foreign direct investments (FDI) that started in the early 1980s has contributed largely to this evolution, boosting exports and labour force utilisation.

  • Overall assessment and recommendations

    This chapter presents an overall assessment of Costa Rica’s innovation system and policy, reflecting the key findings of the review. It identifies strengths and weaknesses and key issues for innovation policy, and develops specific policy recommendations for improving Costa Rica’s performance in science, technology and innovation.

  • Macroeconomic trends and framework conditions for innovation in Costa Rica

    This chapter discusses Costa Rica’s social and economic performance and framework conditions for innovation. The first part presents macroeconomic developments and sketches salient features of the Costa Rican economy, patterns of structural change and productivity-related developments. The second part looks at the current state of framework conditions as they relate to entrepreneurship and innovation. The final sections deal with intellectual property rights and infrastructure, which are important to enterprise and innovation systems in a variety of ways.

  • Innovation performance in Costa Rica

    This chapter reviews Costa Rica’s aggregate innovation performance relative to OECD countries and Latin American countries with comparable or advanced levels of innovation system development, similar size and geographical proximity. The chapter starts by examining the availability of human capital and skills for science, technology and innovation. It then highlights R& expenditure trends across institutional sectors (business, higher education and government) and technology transfer and diffusion patterns. The chapter then reviews indicators of innovation output (including bibliometric, high-tech exports, trademarks) to highlight qualitative and quantitative characteristics of Costa Rica’s innovation system.

  • Innovation actors in Costa Rica

    This chapter describes the main actors in the Costa Rican innovation system – business enterprises, higher education institutions and public research organisations – and highlights their respective roles in the development of innovation activities in recent years. It reviews competences for innovation, and related strengths and weaknesses.

  • Innovation policy and governance in Costa Rica

    This chapter examines public innovation policy and governance in Costa Rica. It begins with an overview of the historical evolution of science, technology and innovation policy in Costa Rica. It then examines the main policy actors and governance arrangements under the light of observations made in earlier chapters and outlines areas in need of dedicated policy attention.

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