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OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2018

Adapting to Technological and Societal Disruption

image of OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2018

The OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2018 is the twelfth edition in a series that biennially reviews key trends in science, technology and innovation (STI) policy in OECD countries and a number of major partner economies. The 14 chapters within this edition look at a range of topics, notably the opportunities and challenges related to enhanced data access, the impacts of artificial intelligence on science and manufacturing, and the influence of digitalisation on research and innovation. The report also discusses the shortcomings of current policy measures, how the Sustainable Development Goals are re-shaping STI policy agendas, and the need for new - more flexible and agile - approaches to technology governance and policy design. While these disruptive changes challenge policy makers in a number of ways, the digital revolution underway also provides solutions for better policy targeting, implementation and monitoring.

This report relies on the latest academic work in the field, research and innovation statistical data, as well as data on wider trends and issues. It makes extensive use of country responses to the 2017 EC OECD STI policy survey (https://stip.oecd.org) and features contributions by renowned experts and academics to broaden the debate and provide more personal, sometimes controversial, angles to it.

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Artificial intelligence and the technologies of the Next Production Revolution

Mastering the technologies of the Next Production Revolution requires effective policy in wide-ranging fields, including digital infrastructure, skills and intellectual property rights. This chapter examines a selection of policy initiatives that aim to enable this transformation process and ensure it benefits society. Developing and adopting new production technologies is essential to raising living standards and countering declining labour productivity growth in many OECD countries. Digital technologies can increase productivity in many ways. Artificial intelligence (AI) could spur the development of entirely new industries. And technologies enabled by advances in digital technology, such as biotechnology, 3D printing and new materials, promise important economic and social benefits. This chapter has two parts. The first covers individual technologies, their applications in production and their specific policy implications. These technologies are: AI, blockchain, 3D printing, industrial biotechnology, new materials and nanotechnology. The second part of the chapter addresses two cross-cutting policy issues relevant to future production: access to and awareness of high-performance computing, and public support for research (with a focus on public research for advanced computing and AI).

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