Innovating for global and societal challenges


Transitioning to green innovation and technology

OECD countries and emerging economies alike are seeking new ways to accelerate the transition to green growth through technology and innovation. This chapter argues that the transition to green innovation will require more than supply-side, technology-push approaches. It will also require demand-side measures and careful organisational and institutional changes. A key challenge is to align the goals of ministries, research funding agencies, higher education institutions and social and market-based institutions so that they focus on green growth in all its dimensions. Strategic policy intelligence can help to enhance policy learning and to avoid government failures.

Science and technology perspectives on an ageing society

This chapter explores the health and disability challenges of ageing societies and the potential contribution of science, technology and innovation in the near- to medium-term to meeting those challenges. In the coming years, science and technology, and particularly information and communication technology applications, will play an important role in achieving that the elderly remain as healthy, as autonomous and as
active as possible.

The chapter begins with an overview of worldwide demographic developments to 2050, before turning to the impending difficulties of matching the rising demand for elderly care with an adequate supply of carers. It presents examples of scientific and technological innovations which are on the horizon or already in the pipeline. The chapter looks at spending on national and international age-related research programmes and projects, and suggests policy areas on which efforts might focus in order to facilitate the introduction and diffusion of technological advances that promise to strengthen older people’s health, independence and active involvement in society.

Innovation for development: The challenges ahead

This chapter addresses three related aspects of innovation for development in developing and emerging economies. Why is it important for emerging and developing countries to encourage innovation? How can innovation affect social inequalities (“inclusive development”)? How can emerging and developing countries seize the opportunities offered by globalisation to harness innovation?

In discussing the role of innovation for development it shows that innovation playsa fundamental role as a driver of growth and as a means of addressing social challenges. Notably, building up innovation capacity, promoting niche competences and gaining competitiveness in frontier industries are objectives that support growth. It looks at inclusive innovation and the implications for different groups in the society, with attention to innovative products for and by middle- and low-income households and the effects of innovation on productivity differences and inequality.

The implications of the global context for these countries’ innovation objectives are also considered. While openness offers opportunities to tap into global knowledge stocks, the development of innovation capacity in national industries requires supportive policy measures. The discussion also addresses trade-induced specialisation patterns and the question of industrial policies.


This report was prepared under the aegis of the OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP) with input from its working parties. CSTP Delegates contributed significantly through their responses to the biennial STI Outlook policy questionnaire and their comments on the re-design of the publication and the Secretariat drafts.

The 2012 STI Outlook is a collective effort, the first ever on this scale, and takes a horizontal approach, co-ordinated by the Country Studies and Outlook Division (CSO) of the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (DSTI). It is produced under the guidance of Dominique Guellec. Sandrine Kergroach served as the overall co-ordinator.

Chapter 2, “Transitioning to green innovation”, was prepared by Mario Cervantes and Daniel Kupka and is based on work currently conducted by the OECD Working Party on Innovation and Technology Policy (TIP). Comments were received from Andrea Beltramello and Dirk Pilat (OECD Green Growth Strategy). The case studies were prepared by: Christopher Nedin (Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Australia), Antti Gronow, Karolina Snell, Tuula Teräväinen (University of Helsinki, Finland), Raimo Lovio, Armi Temmes (Aalto University, Finland), Klaus Jacob (Free University of Berlin, Germany),Woosung Lee (Science and Technology Policy Institute, Korea), Paul Istvan Bencze (The Research Council of Norway) and Laura Hurley (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, United Kingdom).

Chapter 3, “Science and technology perspectives on an ageing society”, was prepared by Elettra Ronchi and Barrie Stevens and is based on work of the Committee for Information, Computer and Communications Policy (ICCP) and the OECD International Futures Programme (IFP).

Chapter 4, “Innovation for development: the challenges ahead” was prepared by Caroline Paunov and received input from Yuko Harayama. Martin Bell, Emeritus Professor, SPRU, University of Sussex, and Ana Margarida Fernandes, The World Bank, provided additional comments.

Julien Chicot, Carlos Guerrero, Nikhil Mandrekar, Ewelina Marek and Lucero Perez provided research assistance to prepare the STI Outlook policy questionnaire. Julien Vavasseur provided IT support. Beatrice Jeffries and Sophie O’Gorman provided secretarial support and Joseph Loux supervised the publication process.

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