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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Strengthening the Knowledge-based Economy

This chapter summarises recent trends in science, technology and industry-related activities in the OECD area. It reviews the changing economic environment in which these trends evolve and the effects of the economic downturn of 2001 on the economy. It then examines structural changes that have affected OECD countries over the past decade, with the rise of knowledge-intensive activities and the sharp expansion of information and communication technologies (ICTs). It provides an overview of the main patterns of investment and production in science and technology (S&T) across OECD countries, analysing changes in the funding and performance of research and development (R&D) and patterns of higher educat ion expenditures and attainment. Finally, it highlights major trends in the internationalisation of science and technology which have fostered knowledge flows among OECD countries over the past decade.

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