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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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The governance of public research policy across OECD countries

Good governance of public research policy can boost the effectiveness of public investment in research. This chapter describes the governance of public research policy across 35 OECD member countries and its evolution over 2005-17. It sheds light on different research-policy contexts that explain why a “one-size-fits-all” approach is inappropriate. The chapter successively addresses four core governance dimensions with important implications for research sector performance. It first discusses the objectives of national STI strategies for higher education institutes (HEIs) and public research institutes (PRIs), which are increasingly expected to contribute to raising national R&D intensity and to address societal challenges. It then describes the variety of organisations allocating funding and evaluating performance. The section that follows discusses the growing autonomy of HEIs and PRIs and the use of associated policy tools, such as performance contracts. The last of the four core governance dimensions relates to the modes of stakeholder involvement in policy decision-making. The chapter concludes with a review of potential future developments.

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