OECD Forum 2015: Innovation


© Shutterstock / twobeeOngoing innovation in ICT, renewable energy, nanotech, telemedicine, biotechnology, Big Data and the “Internet of Everything” is offering promising solutions to challenges in areas such as

  • health
  • ageing
  • climate change
  • food security

and represent an increasingly significant source of future economic growth.

The update of the OECD Innovation Strategy will feed into Forum debates with particular emphasis on governments’ ability to meet social and environmental challenges by creating an enabling environment fostering innovation.

Most countries have a wide range of policies in place to support innovation, but which policies are generating the best results?

What kind of regulatory framework is needed to support the “next productive revolution”? In a global, competitive environment, should policy-makers put an emphasis on supporting infrastructures and R&D or select particular sectors of the economy? What are the implications for the transfer of knowledge between universities, SMEs and large corporations?

© OECDAnd what lessons can be learned from the fact that young businesses tend to generate most jobs? What role can governments play in terms of facilitating innovation in the face of complexity, interconnectedness and uncertainty, or to enable closer co-ordination between the various economic actors involved, as well as greater experimentation in business. How can the conflicting interests of innovators and incumbents be best resolved?

Access to education is an essential element in generating innovation. Skilled people generate knowledge that can be used to create and implement innovations. Educated workers also have a better foundation for further skills acquisition. And, through their actions as role models, they may spur faster human capital accumulation by other workers.

However, a source of concern is, that in the not too distant future, only the highly skilled will have access to rewarding professional careers, and that this trend will further increase the already high levels of inequality


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