Public Research Institutions

Mapping Sector Trends

image of Public Research Institutions

This publication provides new information on public research institutions (PRIs) and government strategies. Public research institutions are crucial for innovation due to their role in knowledge creation and diffusion. While absolute real expenditure on R&D in this sector has risen, it now accounts for a smaller share of total R&D spending by OECD countries and of OECD GDP. The targets and focus of many PRIs have evolved in recent years. Changing activities, new policy challenges and wider economic and political developments have driven change in missions and mandates and linkages have become focal points for many. Internationalisation has also increased and relationships are frequently collaborative. PRIs’ sources of income are diverse but funding has become increasingly competitive. Funding instruments need to balance short-and long-term goals to uphold research quality and ensure the sustainability of PRI activities.  



Operational features of public research institutions – trends and arrangements

Organisational arrangements, governance arrangements, funding and human resources continue to evolve in response to changes in PRIs’ goals, linkages and environments. The evidence described in this chapter points to numerous examples of structural changes to institutes, often including more industry involvement, and wide variance in PRIs’ “distance” from government. Nevertheless, governments continue to exercise important influence, via highlevel strategic direction, supervisory arrangements, funding and performance contracts. Funding is increasingly diverse, with more competitive channels. Human resources remain major inputs to PRI activity.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error