Innovation and the Development Agenda

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Innovation drives long-term economic growth. It has a crucial role to play as global economies recover from the current financial crisis. This book examines the role of innovation in developing countries, with a focus on Africa. It investigates innovation systems and their application; the key role of knowledge in innovation for development; and the importance of comparable country studies and official statistics on innovation. It stresses the need for innovation to become part of a comprehensive development agenda, and makes recommendations for promoting activities in both the formal and informal sectors, with the aim of transforming agriculture into a knowledge-based industry capable of stimulating economic growth.

Innovation and the Development Agenda is an important component of the overall OECD Innovation Strategy, which seeks to create stronger and more sustainable growth, while addressing the key global challenges of the 21st century. It is also part of the Innovation, Technology, and Society programme of IDRC. For more information on IDRC programmes see www.idrc.ca.

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Many people were involved in the two meetings that were the basis for this volume, and it is possible to mention only a few. The January 2009 Workshop, Innovation for Development: Converting Knowledge to Value, was a joint OECD-UNESCO meeting. Pier Carlo Padoan, Deputy Secretary General and Chief Economist of the OECD, and Walter Erdelen, then Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences at UNESCO, provided clear direction and the expectations of their respective organisations for the outcomes of the meeting. The meeting was organised by Gang Zhang from the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (DSTI), OECD; Tony Marjoram from the Basic and Engineering Sciences Division of UNESCO; and Fred Gault and Jean Woo, then from the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Funding was provided by the IDRC, the OECD and UNESCO and, through support to UNESCO, the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (Sida).


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