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Innovation and Productivity


What is the role of public policy in stimulating productivity growth?

Productivity growth is essential for improving living standards and driving economic performance. The widespread slowdown in productivity growth, amplified by the crisis, has put productivity at the centre of economic policy making in many OECD countries. On 7-8 July the 2016 Conference of the Global Forum on Productivity: Structural Reforms for Productivity Growth brought together senior policy-makers, researchers and other stakeholders to discuss productivity spillovers, diffusion and public policies, and implications for inclusion. The link between trade, global value chains (GVCs) and productivity is important in getting institutions right for productivity-enhancing policies.


OECD taxonomy of economic activities based on R&D intensity

R&D intensity varies across countries and industries. This report presents a proposal for a classification of economic activities based on the R&D intensity of industries across OECD countries and selected economies. The results deliver new insights on the R&D performance of service and other non-manufacturing sectors, and show that there is considerable potential for many countries to raise their R&D intensity within industries to the current OECD average. For more information on R&D statistics by industry, see


Can public procurement drive innovation?

Government purchases of goods and services account for a significant share of government expenditure, raising the profile of public procurement as a possible innovation policy tool. Yet so far there is little evidence of how this tool is used and its efficacy. This report provides one of the first compilations of data on the engagement of firms in public procurement across a wide number of countries and its relation to existing measures of innovation. A number of positive correlations are found and the analysis shows the importance of facilitating access to innovation survey microdata in order to allow for a full exploration of newly emerging data on public procurement within innovation and related surveys. For more information on this project, see


Is more recent offshoring of R&D and innovation linked to prior waves of manufacturing offshoring?

Policy makers fear that because of co-location effects between production and innovative activities, the loss of certain manufacturing activities may result in a loss of innovative capabilities (R&D, design, etc.) in the longer-term. This report demonstrates how the offshoring of R&D and innovation within GVCs poses new challenges to economic policy in OECD and emerging economies. Analysing close to 5 000 cross-border greenfield projects in R&D and innovation in “global” cities, it shows the importance of international connectivity of locations, but also cross-border R&D collaboration. It concludes that outward investments in R&D and innovation may well serve to increase MNE’s innovation activities in their home city.

Digital Economy


Outcomes of the Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy

Over 1300 participants from 36 economies attended the OECD’s Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy in Cancún, México between the 21st and 23rd of June. OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría and Mexico’s Minister of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, oversaw discussions of the transforming role of the digital economy in providing economic growth and social prosperity to our societies. Several additional side events took place during the meeting, including a hackathon organised by BIAC and four stakeholder forums organised by BIAC, TUAC, ITAC and CSISAC. The meeting concluded with the signing of the 2016 Cancún Declaration by 42 OECD members and non-member countries, placing digital issues firmly on the global political agenda. 


Broadband policies for Latin America and the Caribbean

One highlight of the Cancún Ministerial was the launch of the OECD-IDB publication on Broadband Policies for Latin America and the Caribbean: A Digital Economy Toolkit. Increasing connectivity and the use of digital services in the LAC region requires policies and practices that address major supply and demand issues in a holistic and coherent manner. The Toolkit sheds light on good practices and case studies, based on a whole-of-government approach. Its aim is to offer public authorities an overview of the policies, regulatory practices and options that can maximise the potential of broadband as a driver of economic and social development.

You can also visit our online platform, the LAC Broadband Portal.

Coming Up


OECD Blue Sky Forum on Science and Innovation Indicators: Agenda and registration reminder

Preparations continue for the OECD Blue Sky Forum in Ghent, Belgium, on 19-21 September 2016. The Forum takes place only every 10 years, and aims to identify evidence gaps in science and innovation and develop a common agenda to address these data needs over the next decade.
Key note speakers include Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Canada’s Science Minister Kirsty Duncan, Portugal’s Minister of Science, Technology and Education Manuel Heitor, and US Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs, Justin Antonipillai. Key note lectures will be delivered by Professors Luc Soete (U. of Maastricht) and Scott Stern (MIT). A draft agenda and a full list of speakers and presentations will be available online.

Registrations close on 5 September but we are reaching full capacity, so do not wait any longer! For more information visit the Forum’s website or contact

Did you know?


Why are policy failures and regulations a greater obstacle for start-ups than for incumbents?

Read our policy note, No country for young firms.


Digital economy
Broadband and telecom
Industry, entrepreneurship and productivity
Science and technology policy
Biotechnology policies
Consumer policy


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