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.  



Public research institution linkages and internationalisation

National and international linkages are an important facet of public research institutions’ operations. This chapter presents evidence showing that the importance of linkages has increased for many institutes in recent years. Methods of linking are varied, and differ by partner and by country. Most linkages are collaborative, and purely competitive relationships appear to be limited. Some countries identified scope to increase the linkages of their PRIs; however, this may need to be tempered by considerations of PRI size.


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