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Going Digital: Shaping Policies, Improving Lives

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Digital technologies and data are transformational. People, firms and governments live, interact, work and produce differently than in the past, and these changes are accelerating rapidly. How can we realise the immense promises of digital technologies and data for growth and well-being in a fast evolving world? This report charts the road ahead. It identifies seven policy dimensions that allow governments – together with citizens, firms and stakeholders – to shape digital transformation to improve lives. It also highlights key opportunities, challenges and policies related to each dimension, offers new insights, evidence and analysis, and provides recommendations for better policies in the digital age.

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Unleashing innovation

Digital and data-driven innovation fundamentally underpin digital transformation. This chapter presents insights on business dynamism, venture capital investment, research and development (R&D) expenditure, ICT patenting, and open government data, all of which are key to unleashing innovation. In addition, it considers how policy can help encourage start-ups and young firms and mobilise public and private support and incentives for all innovators, including through R&D tax credits and intellectual property systems that are adapted to the digital age. The role of open innovation and open science initiatives in fostering knowledge diffusion is also discussed. The chapter further highlights how policy can help realise open government data’s potential to drive digital innovation, as well as how experimental policy approaches, such as agile regulation and regulatory sandboxes, can encourage innovation across sectors and business models. 

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