Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators in a Changing World

Responding to Policy Needs

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As the world interconnects, science, technology and innovation policies cannot be seen as standing alone. There is a growing interest from central banks and ministries of finance in improving the understanding of how science, technology and innovation create value in the form of increased productivity and profits, and contribute to the valuation of enterprises, and ultimately stimulate the growth and competitiveness of economies. This conference proceedings of the OECD Blue Sky II Forum describes some of the policy needs, measurement issues, and challenges in describing cross-cutting and emerging topics in science, technology and innovation (STI). It also presents ideas to exploit existing data and develop new frameworks of measurement in order to guide future development of STI indicators at the OECD and beyond.


Policy Perspectives

Policy making, while not simple, can be pursued in a straightforward way, with traditional phases of data gathering and analysis. Policy implementation is exceptionally difficult and not at all straightforward. Success in either depends critically on access to reliable and well-defined data. But high quality and clear definition, while necessary, are by no means sufficient to render data useful. The data also have to be relevant to the issues policy seeks to address and they have to be accompanied by a credible interpretive framework. These requirements, obvious though they may seem, are very difficult to satisfy. My remarks about these needs and difficulties are based on my own career as a scientist, administrator, and policy advisor, during which I have struggled with policy in nearly every stage of its complex life cycle from conception to death.


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