OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2002

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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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Public and Private Financing of Business R&D

This chapter aims to inform the policy debate by examining fundamental changes in the financing, organisation and conduct of business R&D and their implications for S&T policy. It presents key statistics describing private and public financing of business R&D and reviews the major changes in business strategies for R&D from the perspective of the firm. It then identifies important issues that policy makers will need to address to enhance not only the effectiveness of public financing of R&D but also the performance of national innovation systems. These include greater emphasis on knowledge creation, SMEs and intellectual property rights (IPRs). While the general conclusions are broadly applicable across the OECD area, the steps that individual countries take will need to be tailored to the characteristics of local industry (specific industries, their relative stage of development) and the capabilities of other elements of their national innovation systems.

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