OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers

The OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) leads OECD research on the contribution of science, technology and industry to well-being and economic growth. STI Working Papers cover a broad range of topics including definition and measurement of science and technology indicators, global value chains, and research on policies to promote innovation. These technical or analytical working papers are prepared by staff or outside consultants to share early insights and elicit feedback.


Targeting R&D

Economic and Policy Implications of Increasing R&D Spending

Setting R&D spending targets based on R&D intensities (GERD as a share of GDP) has been a part of science and technology policy in many OECD countries for at least 35 years. What is new is that the targeting of R&D has become more widespread and a more visible goal commanding considerable attention in high-level white papers, summits and policy proclamations. This paper examines the factors that have contributed to the growing popularity of these targets and analyses in more detail the economic and structural consequences of achieving the increased levels of R&D spending by looking at the profile of individual countries with a high R&D intensity and those countries who have achieved a recent significant gain in their intensity. It then traces some of the implications of a higher R&D intensity for the European Union: the R&D spending levels that would be required to meet the target announced by Ministers at the 2002 summit in Barcelona, the human resources needed to conduct this R&D ...

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