Politiques scientifiques, technologiques et d'innovation

Symposium on Innovation and Inclusive Growth


A Symposium on Future Perspectives was held in April 2016 


20-21 March 2014
OECD, Paris


A joint event of the OECD and the Growth Dialogue, this symposium brought together leading experts and policy makers from advanced, emerging and developing economies to discuss the critical challenges that need to be addressed for innovation to support inclusive growth and identify key policy principles.


Background Contact

Key policy questions

  • What are the impacts of innovation and innovation policy on industrial, social and territorial inclusiveness? 
  • How can inclusive innovation initiatives be expanded to improve welfare and facilitate the democratisation of innovation? 
  • What are key implications for policy? What can be done to support the successful implementation of novel approaches to policy to effectively support inclusive growth?

Symposium innovation image

Conference summary (PDF)

Agenda (PDF)

Speakers' biographies (PDF)

Background document (PDF)


Thursday, 20 March 2014


  • Danny Leipziger, Managing Director, Growth Dialogue
  • William C. Danvers, Deputy Secretary General, OECD
  • Raj Nallari, Manager, World Bank Institute

Setting the Agenda

  • Dominique Guellec, Head of Division, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, OECD (see the presentation)


The session discussed inclusive growth dynamics and the role of innovation in this process. Questions include: How does innovation impact industrial and social inclusiveness? How important is industrial inclusiveness i.e. the active participation of SMEs in the innovation process, for social inclusiveness? What is the relationship between innovation corresponding to greater industrial inclusiveness and innovation aimed at competing on global markets? Can a large group of dynamic small-scale innovators be as much a source of growth as can the performance of a few large firms?

Chair: Danny Leipziger, Managing Director, Growth Dialogue


  • Luiz de Mello, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Secretary- General of the OECD: Presentation of the OECD Inclusive Growth Initiative
  • Manuel Trajtenberg, Tel Aviv University, and Chairman, Planning and Budgeting Committee, the Council for Higher Education, Israel
  • Poh Kam Wong, NUS, Singapore (see the presentation)


The session reflected on how innovation can lead to industrial and social inequality and on what policy can do to distribute the fruits of innovation more evenly. Questions include: What are the impacts of traditional innovation policy instruments on industrial and social inclusiveness? Should innovation policy sacrifice growth impacts for distributional impacts? Do successful innovation policies necessarily require sacrificing either growth or distributional impacts? Are there amendments to the traditional instruments that would allow for better growth-inequality trade-offs?


Chair: Luiz de Mello, Deputy Chief of Staff of the OECD Secretary-General


  • Andres Rodriguez-Pose, London School of Economics (see the presentation)
  • Caroline Paunov, Economist, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, OECD (see the presentation)
  • Venni Krishna, Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawharlal Nehru University, India (see the presentation)
  • Pierre Mohnen, UNU Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology



  • R.A. Mashelkar, President of the Global Research Alliance and National Research Professor, India (see the presentation)


Inclusive innovations have allowed lower-income individuals to improve their welfare and low productivity entrepreneurs and firms to boost their economic performance. Questions include: Why are inclusive innovations often not scaled up, e.g. market or government failures, insufficient market size, lack of capabilities, etc.? What can be done to ensure scaling up? Is there a role for government? What processes can be implemented to support those inclusive innovations (as e.g. services aimed at improving education) that support the democratisation of innovation?

Chair: Dirk Pilat, Deputy Director for Science, Technology and Industry, OECD




Empowering individuals to acquire new skills is critical for them to engage more effective in innovation processes as skills are complementary with innovation and technological change. Questions include: How can education systems best provide individuals with the right skills to avoid exclusion? Is an emphasis on excellence needed for international competitiveness and, if so, how can it be reconciled with the objective of inclusivity notably in terms of earnings?

Chair: Raj Nallari, Manager, World Bank Institute


  • Ishrat Husain, Institute of Business Administration, Pakistan (see the presentation)
  • Manuel Trajtenberg, Tel Aviv University and Chairman, Planning and Budgeting Committee, the Council for Higher Education, Israel
  • Alfonso Echazarra, Analyst, Directorate for Education and Skills (see the presentation)
  • Shahid Yusuf, Chief Economist, Growth Dialogue (see the presentation)

 Friday, 21 March 2014


The way in which innovation activities are concentrated in certain regions or urban areas within countries has implications, notably for those located at the economic centre and those at the periphery. Questions include: What combination of policies and institutions contribute to innovation in some regions? What can territorial policies do to integrate excluded groups better into innovation activities on-going in the more dynamic regions? How should innovation policies’ aims and instruments adapt to geographical diversity in innovation capabilities? To what extent are ICTs facilitating territorial inclusiveness?


Chair: Shahid Yusuf, Chief Economist, Growth Dialogue


  • Eduardo Bitran, Universidad Adolfo Ibanez, Chile (see the presentation and video)
  • Joaquim Oliveira Martins, Head of Division, Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development, OECD
  • Xiaolan Fu, University of Oxford (see the presentation)
  • Jeremy Howells, University of Southampton (see the presentation)


The session sought new ideas and insights into the policy process that can better equip governments to pursue innovation policies in support of inclusive growth. The session also discussed conditions for the successful implementation of novel policy approaches.

Chair: Rajneesh Narula, University of Reading (see the presentation)


  • Tatyana Orozco de la Cruz, Director, National Planning Department of Colombia (see the presentation)
  • Dominique Guellec, Head of Division, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, OECD
  • Mu Rongping, Director General of the Institute of Policy and Management (IPM), Chinese Academy of Sciences (see the presentation)




This session discussed the scope for and modalities of future collaboration between the OECD and the Growth Dialogue.
Co-Chairs: Danny Leipziger, Managing Director, Growth Dialogue, and Dirk Pilat, Deputy Director for Science, Technology and Industry, OECD 


Background: Innovation and Inclusive Growth – An Overview of the Questions

Innovation and information and communication technologies (ICTs) are central to economic growth as well as to help address social challenges. The Digital Revolution, including the emergence of Internet and the fundamental transformations brought about by digital social networks, has accelerated innovation, raised productivity, and irreversibly transformed the nature of jobs, the role cities play as nodes in the global economy and economies more generally. 

Those changes and the innovation policies adopted in response have been most frequently assessed in terms of their impact on aggregate income growth. However, their impacts are unlikely to be “neutral” as they might affect individuals and groups in society to different extents (“social inclusiveness”). All individuals and businesses are not on an equal footing regarding innovation capacities and access to the corresponding benefits (“industrial inclusiveness”). Moreover, policies aimed at promoting innovation affect the geographic dimensions of industrial and social inequalities and underpin inequalities between urban and rural (“territorial inclusiveness”). Therefore, it is important to consider the social, industrial and territorial implications of innovation policies as well.


Symposium on Innovation and Inclusive Growth, 20-21 March 2014: Background cover page

ICTs promise to democratize innovation, i.e. expand the circle of individuals and firms who successfully engage in innovation. Innovation policies that can effectively support this process include policies that strengthen the skills base needed for innovation, and encourage inclusive innovations (innovative goods and services that improve welfare of lower-income groups). A variety of ICT-based applications have, for instance, brought fundamental changes to disadvantaged groups including also certain rural communities in emerging and developing countries.

The Symposium on Innovation and Inclusive Growth was organised as part of the "OECD Innovation for Inclusive Growth" project (visit the project's main page).

Several background studies were conducted prior to the Symposium. They explore the link between innovation and innovation policy and inclusive growth, the issue of scaling up, the role of IP and IP policies in support of inclusive innovation, as well as offer empirical evidence on the effect of policies and the context on firms (corruption, liberalisation policies) as well as the role of ICTs in fostering inclusive innovation in developing economies. To learn more about these studies, download the Background Studies overview.


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