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Publications & Documents


  • 20-May-2021

    English

    Reducing the precarity of academic research careers

    This report analyses academic research careers, with a focus on the 'research precariat', defined as postdoctoral researchers holding fixed-term positions without permanent or continuous employment prospects. It identifies policies and practices that aim to improve researchers’ well-being, develop more diverse, equitable and inclusive research systems, attract and retain the best talent in academia, and ultimately improve the quality of science. The report presents a conceptual framework and synthesis of available data and policy information. It draws on a survey of OECD countries that included country notes and interviews with policy officials, funders, representatives of research performing organisations and researchers. It offers recommendations and a set of policy options to improve working conditions and professional development, better link funding to human resource policies, make governance more inclusive, promote equal opportunities and diversity, improve human resource management, promote inter-sectoral and international mobility, and develop the evidence base on research careers.
  • 20-May-2021

    English

    Quantitative indicators for high-risk/high-reward research

    This paper describes the key characteristics of high-risk/high-reward research (HRHR), which has gained considerable interest from policy makers as a way to promote the development of new, ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas. It identifies three dimensions that are accentuated in HRHR research: higher levels of basicness, generality and novelty. These knowledge characteristics are commonly associated with market failure and research that requires public investment because it has large spill-overs, long time horizons and high levels of uncertainty. This is illustrated with examples of specific discoveries embedding each knowledge characteristic and the application of appropriate quantitative measures. The paper concludes with the computation and demonstration of an indicator of novelty that may be particularly well suited for the monitoring and evaluation of HRHR research policies.
  • 19-May-2021

    English

    Neurotechnology in and for society: Deliberation, stewardship and trust

    This workshop on 19-20 May 2021 focused on enabling societal deliberation on neurotechnology and promoting cultures of stewardship and trust in neurotechnology across the public and private sector in the context of the OECD Recommendation on Responsible Innovation in Nanotechnology.

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  • 18-May-2021

    English

    Effective policies to foster high-risk/high-reward research

    This report analyses policies and research funding mechanisms designed to foster high-risk high-reward (HRHR) research, and explores promising practices for fostering HRHR research in a variety of contexts. The underlying concern is that failure to encourage and support research on risky, ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas may jeopardise a country’s longer-term ability to compete economically, harness science for solving national and global challenges, and contribute to the progress of science as a whole. The analysis in this paper is primarily based on a survey of individual HRHR research funding schemes in different countries, complemented by targeted interviews. This survey was supplemented by an analysis of HRHR research-oriented programmes and by the feedback from an international workshop that included all relevant stakeholders.
  • 11-May-2021

    English

    Research Infrastructures mobilisation in response to COVID-19: lessons learned

    This virtual workshop held on 11 May 2021 provided an opportunity to discuss some of the critical questions that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic for different research infrastructure stakeholders.

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  • 7-May-2021

    English

    To what extent can blockchain help development co-operation actors meet the 2030 Agenda?

    Blockchain is mainstreaming, but the number of blockchain for development use-cases with proven success beyond the pilot stage remain relatively few. This paper outlines key blockchain concepts and implications in order to help policymakers reach realistic conclusions when considering its use. The paper surveys the broad landscape of blockchain for development to identify where the technology can optimise development impact and minimise harm. It subsequently critically examines four successful applications, including the World Food Programme’s Building Blocks, Oxfam’s UnBlocked Cash project, KfW’s TruBudget and Seso Global. As part of the on-going work co-ordinated by the OECD’s Blockchain Policy Centre, this paper asserts that post-COVID-19, Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors and their development partners have a unique opportunity to shape blockchain’s implementation.
  • 5-May-2021

    English

    A new era of digitalisation for ocean sustainability? - Prospects, benefits, challenges

    As the United Nations Decade on Ocean Science for Sustainable Development begins, this paper explores recent and likely future digital technologies - especially in the field of ocean observation - that will contribute to ocean sustainability. It examines advances that could lead to substantial improvements in the data collection and analysis of the impact of climate change and human activity on marine ecosystems, while also contributing to the monitoring and reduction of the ecological footprint of ocean-related economic activity. The paper also provides preliminary reflections on how the COVID-19 pandemic might affect digitalisation in the ocean economy, and what strategies could help support ocean research and innovation during and after the crisis.
  • 29-April-2021

    English

    Guidance for a biorefining roadmap for Thailand

    Biorefineries present an alternative to fossil-based production, and can create employment, wealth and the ecosystem needed to make them function. Thailand is establishing a bioeconomy with widespread biorefining as a strategy for future economic growth. There is political will to establish in Thailand, if feasible, small, decentralised biorefineries to which farmers can locally deliver biomass as feedstock, which can then be processed into bio-based products. This would help to relieve rural poverty, which is still a problem in some areas of Thailand despite progress. Developing a biorefining roadmap will help to assess the feasibility of such an initiative.
  • 23-April-2021

    English

    Transparency reporting - Considerations for the review of the privacy guidelines

    This report presents evidence on efforts taken by companies to ensure trust in the digital economy through transparency reporting. Focussing on the world’s most widely used social media platforms, online communication services, file-sharing platforms and other online services (many of which are based in the United States), the report identifies both good practices and challenges in transparency reporting. Challenges include limited informative value and comparability, as well as an inability to provide reliable information on the extent to which governments gain access to personal data held by the private sector. A range of actions are proposed to address these challenges, recognising the need to develop a more robust evidence base by expanding the number of countries and companies analysed. This report informed the review of the OECD Privacy Guidelines.
  • 23-April-2021

    English

    Collaborative platforms for emerging technology - Creating convergence spaces

    Governments, together with partners in industry and civil society, are developing experimental forms of collaborative platforms to provide better linkages between research and innovation, and to promote the development and use of emerging technology. This report analyses 33 case studies from key fields of emerging technology – genomics, advanced materials and engineering biology – and finds that collaborative platforms are most effective when they act as 'convergence spaces' for the fusion of diverse disciplines, actors and technology. It also shows how governance mechanisms shape platform operations and act as policy levers for ordering what amounts to a common pool resource: they aim to maximise tangible and intangible value, realise sustainability models, foment collaboration, and promote technological integration. After presenting cross-cutting and comparative findings on key components of governance, the report concludes with policy implications for the design of existing and future collaborative platforms.
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