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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Science and Technology in China

Trends and policy challenges

This chapter draws primarily on official Chinese sources to provide a preliminary review of China’s S&T system, with the aim of identifying main policy challenges for improving the system. It provides a brief introduction to China’s R&D system and outlines major reforms implemented since the mid-1980s, including a concise overview of China’s S&T capability, based on both input and output measures of S&T effort. While the discussion focuses mainly on national trends and capabilities, it recognises that there are significant regional variations. The chapter examines the innovation capability of the Chinese enterprise sector, considering in particular the role of foreign direct investment (FDI) and technology trade in boosting China’s S&T capability. Finally, key challenges that require continued policy attention and further analysis are identified.

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