The OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2016 is the eleventh in a biennial series designed to review key trends in science, technology and innovation (STI) in OECD countries and a number of major non-member economies: Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Peru, the Russian Federation, South Africa and Thailand. It aims at informing policy makers, business representatives and analysts about recent and anticipated changes in the global patterns of science, technology and innovation and about the current and possible future implications for national STI policies both at global and national level.

The STI Outlook 2016 takes a more forward-looking perspective compared to previous editions. Chapter 1 considers megatrends that are expected to have a strong impact on the global economy and on the financing of innovation, on our future society and its relationship with STI, and on the modern state and future STI policy. Chapter 2 discusses ten key emerging technology trends that not only are the most promising and potentially the most disruptive but which also carry significant risks. The technologies covered are big data, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, nano/microsatellites, neurotechnologies, synthetic biology, nanomaterials, advanced energy storage technologies and blockchain. Chapter 3 presents future trends in science policy over a 10-15 year horizon and takes a forward-looking approach to issues related to multidisciplinarity, excellence, targeted funding, open science, the digitalisation of science and the attractiveness of research careers.

The STI Outlook 2016 also presents recent trends in STI in light of the fragile economic recovery, the scarcity of funding for innovation and entrepreneurship, mounting fiscal pressure, globalisation and major societal challenges (climate change, ageing societies and growing inequality). Chapter 4 presents an overall assessment of recent developments and the outlook for STI and policies across countries. It introduces a series of thematic STI policy profiles that provide a cross-country comparison of specific STI policy orientations, instruments and governance in the OECD area and beyond. The STI country profiles offer insights into national innovation systems: their structural characteristics, their STI performance benchmarked against selected harmonised indicators, and recent important developments in national STI policy. The focus of the profiles is on national STI priorities and initiatives introduced from 2014 to 2016.

The STI Outlook 2016 draws on the OECD’s most recent empirical and analytical work in areas related to innovation and innovation policy. It makes use of the responses of member countries and non-member economies to the joint European Commission/OECD International Survey on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP), formerly the biennial STI Outlook policy questionnaire. It builds on a statistical framework of over 300 STI-related indicators, drawing on the OECD’s long-term efforts to build a system of internationally comparable metrics to monitor STI policy and on recent efforts to develop more experimental STI indicators.

Finally, the STI Outlook 2016 is one of the main pillars of the OECD-World Bank Innovation Policy Platform (IPP), a web-based interactive space that provides access to open data, learning resources and opportunities for collective learning about innovation policy.