Public sector research


While public sector research accounts for a smaller proportion of gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) than business R&D in most OECD countries, it plays an extremely important role in innovation systems. The familiar rationales for governments to support research are instructive in this regard. They emphasise the need for government intervention to offset the failures of markets to provide sufficient incentives for investment in research due to its non- appropriable character, and its risky and intangible nature. As a result, the private sector provides "sub-optimal" levels of investment and government support must ensure the provision of the basic research required for innovation and economic growth.

The module consists of nodes covering (i) those public research activities and outcomes that contribute to innovation performance; (ii) the key actors involved; (iii) the shaping factors that influence actors’ behaviours; and (iv) the core policies that modulate the relevant shaping factors and actors’ behaviours. The box to the right includes links to the relevant nodes.


At the current time, many of the horizontal links to other nodes have been embedded into the pages. In this way, the user can move between nodes to explore the relationships between different activities, actors, shaping factors and policy instruments. Vertical linkages into the information repository are, by contrast, still few and far between. These links will be added as the content of the information repository is further enhanced with indicators, Briefs and other relevant materials.


Several nodes lack content at the current time. This will be added later. For those nodes where there is content, the user is able to use the "green button" at the top of the page to access the OECD community site, where the text can be amended and comments left. As the OECD community site and this test bed web site are independent systems, any amendments you make will not be immediately evident in the web page. The Platform team will make the necessary changes to the web site.


Public sector research

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   Activities and outcomes

   Key actors

   Shaping factors

   Policy analysis




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