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OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2015

Innovation for growth and society

image of OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2015

Science, technology and innovation foster competitiveness, productivity and growth. Over 200 indicators in the OECD Science, Technology and Industry (STI) Scoreboard show how OECD and major non-OECD economies are starting to move beyond the crisis, increasingly investing in the future.

The charts and underlying data in the OECD STI Scoreboard 2015 are available for download and selected indicators contain additional data expanding the time and country coverage of the print edition.

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Science and innovation today

As with other types of investment, expenditures in R&D and innovation are pro-cyclical – they are positively related to an economy’s level of activity. R&D financed by the business sector is particularly affected by the business cycle and reflects changes in financing constraints and aggregate demand. The major drop in GDP and business R&D in 2008-09 was partly balanced by a boost in government-funded R&D. From 2010, business-funded R&D has recovered, while in turn direct government funding of R&D has declined, reflecting budget consolidation policies. Since 1985, the components of R&D have evolved differently. Across all sectors, applied research and experimental development have more than doubled in real terms since 1985. These account for most of R&D expenditures (21% and 62% of GERD, respectively in 2013, but more so in China at 11% and 85%). Basic research (17%) has nearly quadrupled over the period, driven by sustained growth in R&D within higher education. Behind these general trends lie diverse sectoral patterns, suggesting increasing sectoral specialisation in the types of R&D performed. This picture may hint at an increasing gap between basic research and the development of new products and processes.

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