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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

12 Dec 2016

OECD and EC present STI Outlook 2016

On 8 December 2016, the OECD launched at the European Commission in Brussels the OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2016. According to the report, spending on research and development in government and higher education institutions in OECD countries fell in 2014 for the first time since the data were first collected in 1981. R&D spending in government and higher education labs, most of which is provided by governments, began flattening out in 2010 following three decades of growth.

Key findings of the report include:

• Over a third of the research done globally in government and higher education institutions takes place in non-OECD economies. China spent around twice as much on public R&D as Japan in 2014. India, Russia, Chinese Taipei, Iran and Argentina have some of the world’s biggest public science systems.

• Five countries – the US, China, Japan, Germany and India - accounted for 59% of global public R&D in 2014, while 25 countries were behind 90% of the total. This dominance by a few partly reflects their large size. In the future, economies with fast-growing populations and GDP, as in Africa, may become more important players.

• Charities, foundations and philanthropists have become increasingly prominent funders of university research in recent years, particularly in the area of health where they often fund research into rare or tropical diseases. This will have an impact on future public research agendas.

• Different countries currently have different specialisations: for example health and medical science takes up 24% of public R&D spending in the US, 22% in the UK and 17% in Canada while energy R&D is 19% of the total in Mexico, 11% in Japan and 9% in Korea. Country priorities are changing and increasingly reflect the growing societal challenges mentioned above such as climate change and demographics.

The OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook is a biennial publication that aims to inform policy makers and analysts on recent and future changes in global science, technology and innovation (STI) patterns and their potential implications on and for national and international STI policies. Since 2015 the OECD and the European Commission pursue a joint approach in support of innovation policy through their international survey on STI policies.

To read the full report visit the OECD website

A factsheet on Austria is available here.

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