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Science and Technology

OECD calls for common principles for developing and communicating scientific advice

Recent events where science advice has been called into question include Ebola, Fukushima and the L'Aquila earthquake. If science is to answer the complex and controversial questions being asked by policy makers, the media and the public, scientific advice must be effective, transparent, and legitimate. 

Scientific Advice for Policy Making: The Role and Responsibility of Expert Bodies and Individual Scientists argues that governments would benefit from agreeing common principles for developing and communicating scientific advice, both in crisis situations and for long-term policy making. Governments should also differentiate advisory roles from policy decision-making roles, and define from the outset the legal responsibilities and potential liability of advisors.


The innovation strategies of the world’s leading corporate R&D investors

More than two thirds of business sector R&D is done by a relatively small number of innovators, often large multinational corporations which also account for a significant proportion of patents and trademarks. What global strategies do companies use for knowledge development and exploitation? Which industries account for the most patents? What does the geography of patenting tell us about the specialisation of different economies?

This report – published by the OECD and the European Commission - presents original data and statistics on the innovation output of the world's top 2000 corporate R&D investors – supporting the development of evidence-based research and innovation policies.

More strategic policies could boost Luxembourg innovation

Following a period of rapid growth and change in Luxembourg’s innovation environment, the OECD’s Review of Innovation Policy: Luxembourg 2015 underscores the importance of improving governance of innovation, enhancing co-ordination across ministries and agencies and between public research centres and the University of Luxembourg.  A national innovation strategy would strengthen the links between research investments and the government’s goals of economic diversification, social well-being, and sustainability goals. The country should also work to foster innovation in the business sector, the report argues. Mechanisms to promote private sector innovation should be better aligned with national research priorities, public support to business R&D should be made more competitive, and the impacts of innovation policy should be better evaluated.

Dementia: What role for collaborative partnerships and big data?

More effective research is needed to address the lack of a cure or effective treatment for the 50 million dementia sufferers worldwide. One element in improving this situation is using and sharing data more widely to increase the power of research, as explored in the OECD report Big Data for Advancing Dementia Research. A further report, Public-private Partnerships in Biomedical Research and Health Innovation, makes the case for new systems that improve incentives for active participation in research and share the rewards of success.

Addressing Dementia- the OECD Response brings together the OECD’s recent work on dementia for the first WHO Ministerial meeting on dementia, and stresses the major opportunities to be seized in sharing research data and increasing private sector investment, but argues that there needs to be a major shift in the research culture and incentives for collaboration.

Digital Economy

A Social Compact for Digital Privacy and Security: A critical first step for trust and economic prosperity

At the recent Global Conference on Cyberspace meeting, the Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) issued a statement supported by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría calling on ‘the global community to build a new social compact… with the goal of restoring trust and enhancing confidence in the Internet’. This is a critical first step to achieving long-term digital trust, which in turn can help ensure economic prosperity and well-being. Previous OECD work – notably the principles for Internet policy making - aimed at strengthening international co-operation and supporting a flexible, multi-stakeholder approach to Internet policy making, rather than an international regulatory approach.

Consumer Policy

Can industry self-regulation complement government policy in protecting consumers?

Industry self-regulation (ISR) can provide important benefits to both industry and consumers particularly when business codes of conduct and standards are involved and provided that participants adhere to their commitments. The impacts of ISR agreements depend on a number of factors; how well the provisions are implemented and enforced is critical, as is the level of industry participation. This report examines conditions and situations where there are likely to be benefits, and the steps that need to be taken to help ensure such initiatives succeed.


Digital economy
Broadband and telecom
Innovation in science, technology and industry
Industry, entrepreneurship and productivity
Science and technology policy
Biotechnology policies
Consumer policy


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