Science and technology

OECD Blue Sky Forum on Science and Innovation Indicators


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 ‌Programme | Plenary sessions speakers and presentations | Parallel sessions speakers and presentations | Biographies | Scientific Committee


Every 10 years the OECD Blue Sky Forum engages the policy community, data users and providers into an open dialogue to review and develop its long-term agenda on science, technology and innovation (STI) data and indicators. This event is known as the “OECD Blue Sky Forum”, an open and unconstrained discussion on evidence gaps in science and innovation and on initiatives the international community can take to address data needs in this area.

Blue Sky has been held in Paris (1996) and Ottawa (2006). On its last edition, Blue Sky was marked by the announcement of Science for Science and Innovation Policy initiatives. It also launched OECD work on innovation in firms which exploited the potential of micro-data and informed the OECD Innovation Strategy of 2010 with the publication of Measuring Innovation: A New Perspective



OECD Blue Sky 2016 in Ghent


In October 2015, science and innovation ministers from OECD countries and several other major economies met in Daejeon, Korea, and signed the Declaration on Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for the Global and Digital Age. This calls for OECD to continue improving statistics and measurement systems to better capture the key features of science, technology and innovation. Ministers pointed at the OECD Blue Sky Forum 2016 as a key milestone in this process.


     Key objectives

    • Lead to a forward looking and policy relevant roadmap on STI measurement for OECD and beyond to consider and implement with their membership, other international organisations and experts. 
    • Discuss and review the main conceptual underpinnings of current frameworks for STI indicators and data infrastructure initiatives, as well as their uses by the policy and the research communities.
    • Explore the role of digital infrastructures in creating new opportunities for measurement and analysis, as well as challenges to existing standards of collection and quality of STI indicators.
    • Provide new opportunities for collaboration and strengthen the dialogue between: policy makers, data users and providers; national and global practices on indicators; efforts to build up and maintain underlying data resources and efforts to develop indicators; official statisticians and other practitioners; and STI data practitioners and practitioners in related statistical domains.


Blue Sky 2016 welcomes original submissions that showcase examples of data and indicator development with the potential for international adoption, as well as examples of ground-breaking application of existing or new sources addressing questions and providing evidence on the state of science and innovation systems and the role of STI policies worldwide. 

Academic contributions with clear policy relevance are encouraged, but submissions may also include concept papers outlining possible strategies for STI data collection, measurement and quality improvements, formulate user needs or specify potential initiatives by policy makers and administrators that can support the infrastructure for the analysis of science and innovation phenomena.

Contributions will be selected by a scientific committee comprising leading experts in the area based on (1) policy relevance; (2) novel and forward looking elements of the approach; (3) implications or potential for implementation at the global level. A Conference volume will be produced by OECD comprising short versions of selected and contributed papers by leading experts.


Main themes and topics

  • Key lessons after 10 years of science for science and innovation policy initiatives

  • Digitalisation of science and innovation

  • Globalisation of science and innovation

  • Science and innovation for global challenges

  • Trust, culture, and citizens' engagement in science and innovation

  • Emergence of new technologies, multidisciplinary science, technology convergence

  • Networks, collaboration, diffusion and commercialisation of ideas, valuation of knowledge-based assets

  • Skills for innovation, researchers' mobility, incentives and institutions  

  • Innovation in different geo-contexts and sectors; alternative approaches to the 2005 Oslo Manual

  • Interaction and impact of STI policies

  • Science and innovation at the interface with entrepreneurship, education, income distribution,  global challenges

  • Science, innovation and macroeconomic modelling

  • New data infrastructures for the analysis of science and innovation

  • The Internet and big data analytics as a source of data on STI: opportunities and challenges

  • The integration of STI statistics and other statistical frameworks

  • Use of visualisation techniques for policy making

  • Timely STI indicators and foresight in a fast changing environment

Key Dates

19-21 September 2016 in Het Pand, Ghent, Belgium

  • 14 March: Submission deadline: Short paper / Research in progress paper, with description of policy relevance and completed study (max 2,000 words)

  • 30 May: Notification of acceptance

  • 7 June: Registration opens

  • 8 July: Early bird registration deadline

  • 25 July: Submission of complete, accepted, papers and posters

  • 5 September: Registration closes [Please note that due to a very high number of requests for participation, registration was closed on August 11th. Please mail us your contact details. We will contact you, should a place become available].

  • 18 September evening: arrival in Ghent and social event 


oecde logo BELSPO Logo‌‌ ‌‌‌‌ Ghent BC logo

The Blue Sky Forum is organised by the OECD in partnership with the Belgium’s Federal Science Policy Office, the Flanders Regional Government, the University of Ghent and the City of Ghent.

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Picture: botond/123RF


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