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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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New approaches in policy design and experimentation

Complexity and uncertainty are core features of most policy making today, and STI policies are no different. This chapter describes and analyses emerging approaches to science, technology and innovation (STI) policy design and implementation. It reviews several new policy tools, such as systems thinking, design thinking, behavioural insights, experimentation, regulatory sandboxes and real-time data analytics, that are transforming STI policy making today. It argues that innovations in policy making should be applied strategically and systemically – they should not be adopted indiscriminately by layering them on top of one another in an ever-expanding ‘policy mix’. The chapter concludes by considering the capacities and capabilities required of policymakers in this challenging new environment, and discusses the future outlook for policy design and governance practices.

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