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OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2008

image of OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2008

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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South Africa

South Africa’s innovation system is in transition. R&D intensity, with gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) at 0.92% of GDP in 2005, is now broadly in line with the country’s income level, and growth in GERD has been robust in recent years, with real expenditure doubling from 1997 to 2005. Business funds 44% of GERD, down from 56% in 2001, contrary to trends in transition economies such as China. However, South Africa has a core of strong innovative business enterprises, and the share of GERD performed by the business sector (58%) is similar to or higher than some OECD countries with higher R&D intensity, such as Italy, Spain and Canada. The ratio of business expenditure on R&D to GDP stood at 0.53% in 2005.

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