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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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Technology governance and the innovation process

Innovation reaps major benefits for economies, but some emerging technologies carry public concerns and risks. However, governing and steering emerging technologies to achieve good outcomes, while important, remains difficult. This chapter first examines how governance of emerging technologies should be recast from post-hoc regulation to approaches that engage the process of innovation itself. It then successively discusses three policy instruments that show promise as a means of addressing societal goals, concerns and values during the innovation process: participatory agenda-setting, co-creation (e.g. in the form of test beds), and value-based design and standardisation. The final section draws the main policy implications of adopting a more upstream approach to technology governance.

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