OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2008

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The OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2008 reviews key trends in science, technology and innovation in OECD countries and a number of major non-member economies including Brazil, Chile, China, Israel, Russia and South Africa. Using the latest available data and indicators, the book examines topics high on the agenda of science and innovation policy makers, including science and innovation performance; trends in national science, technology and innovation policies; and practices to assess the socio-economic impacts of public research. This volume also provides an individual profile of the science and innovation performance of each country in relation to its national context and current policy challenges.

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Italy’s share in world trade has declined and low productivity growth has led to a widening gap in GDP per capita with the best OECD performers. Restoring economic dynamism will require addressing various challenges. Improving the environment for innovation is a crucial part of the solution. Spending on R&D is below the OECD and EU average, and in 2005, R&D intensity (gross domestic expenditure on R&D [GERD] as a percentage of GDP) was 1.1%, compared to 2.25% for the OECD area and over 1.7% for the EU. The private sector financed only 40% of R&D and performed 50%, compared to OECD averages of 63 and 68%, respectively.

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