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OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2002

image of OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2002

Science and technology increasingly contribute to economic growth, industrial competitiveness and the realisation of societal objectives. As countries continue the transition to knowledge-based economies, policy makers seek effective ways to improve the ability to create, absorb, diffuse and apply knowledge productively, by stimulating business investments in research and development, reforming science systems and their links to industry, promoting the development of human resources and stimulating competition and industrial restructuring.

The OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2002informs policy making by providing a broad, integrated assessment of these important issues. In addition to reviewing recent trends, the report identifies significant changes in science, technology and industry policies in the OECD countries. Special chapters examine emerging issues related to changing business strategies for R&D, competition and co-operation in the innovation process, reforming national science systems, strategic use of intellectual property rights in public research institutions, industrial globalisation and international mobility of scientists and engineers. Following the granting to China of observer status to the OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy, a special chapter is devoted to this country’s challenges in the area of scientific and technological policy. A statistical annex provides up-to-date indicators related to science, technology and industry.

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Patenting and Licensing in Public Research Organisations

This chapter reviews current trends regarding IP management at PROs and identifies related policy issues. It discusses government policies influencing strategic IP behaviour of PROs, including policies regarding the ownership of IP resulting from government-funded research (see also OECD, 2000). It then presents available information on the IP management activities at PROs, drawing on the available literature and on a recent international survey of IP management conducted under the auspices of the OECD. Such data provide valuable information for helping determine whether the current system of protection works to achieve the goals of public research institutions or whether the practices present problems for either the scientific enterprise or commercial innovation. The chapter then examines a number of policy issues that arise from greater IP management by PROs, including openness of and access to research materials and results, the costs and benefits of IP protection at PROs, possible effects on the research enterprise, and potential conflicts of interest. It identifies the levers that are available to both public organisations and to governments as they try to manage their IP in ways that balance commercial goals and research missions without damaging public trust.

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