Why an innovation strategy?

OECD research and analysis show that innovation is a key driver of growth performance.


A growing number of countries are faced with stagnating or declining populations, and therefore labour inputs, and investments in physical capital face diminishing returns. These economic problems coincide with increasing political need to make progress against a number of social challenges, many of which are global in nature (such as climate change) or require global action (global health, food security and the growing scarcity of clean water).

In 2007, Ministers acknowledged the need for a cross-government policy to harness innovation as a major driver of productivity that can strengthen economic growth and development. Stronger innovation, combined with new international partnerships, can also help address pressing global issues such as climate change, health, food security and poverty.

The OECD Innovation Strategy draws on significant work carried out by more than 15 Committees and their working parties across 10 OECD Directorates, including numerous analytical projects, workshops, conferences, a series of country roundtables with policymakers and stakeholders. A specialist, high-level expert advisory group has provided guidance throughout the development of the project.

Innovation in goods, services, processes and practices can help accelerate the recovery and put countries back on a path to sustainable – and greener – growth.

The Innovation Strategy was delivered in May 2010. An update, The Innovation Imperative, was published in 2015.




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