Skills for Innovation and Research

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Innovation holds the key to ongoing improvements in living standards, as well as to solving pressing social challenges. Skilled people play a crucial role in innovation through the new knowledge they generate, how they adopt and develop existing ideas, and through their ability to learn new competencies and adapt to a changing environment.

This book seeks to increase understanding of the links between skills and innovation. It explores the wide range of skills required, ranging from technical to "soft", and the ability to learn; it presents data and evidence on countries' stocks and flows of skills and the links between skill inputs and innovation outputs. Given the importance of meeting the demands of knowledge-based economic activity, the book investigates the issues of skill supply, education, workplace training and work organisation. It highlights the importance of enabling individuals to acquire appropriate skills and of optimising these at work.


Skills and innovation – Links, questions and challenges

Countries wish to better understand which skills are required for innovative activity. Human capital contributes to innovation in a number of ways, but linking particular skills to innovation raises methodological challenges. This chapter aims to increase understanding of the desired skills base for innovation and its underlying research activities and of the policies that would enhance the development of these skills. It also points out areas in which further analysis would be useful. To begin, this chapter sets the scene by outlining the links between human capital and innovation. It then discusses some of the policy questions of concern to OECD countries, highlighting some of the measurement difficulties that create uncertainties for determining policy. A final section describes the book’s approach.


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