Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation

Blue Sky Forum: Agenda


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The OECD Blue Sky 2016 Forum will run from 9:00 on Monday 19 September, preceded by a welcome dinner on Sunday 18 September, through 13:30 on Wednesday 21 September followed by a farewell lunch.

Sunday 18 September

18:30     Welcome by Daniel Termont, Mayor of Ghent, and dinner at Handelsbeurs, Kouter 29, 9000 Ghent


Monday 19 September
08:15-09:00 Registration and networking



Welcome to Ghent and the OECD Blue Sky Forum

  • Anne De Paepe, Rector, Ghent University
  • Elke Sleurs, State Secretary for Combating Poverty, for Equal Opportunities, for Disabled People and for Science Policy, in charge of Larger Towns, Belgium
  • Mari Kiviniemi, OECD Deputy Secretary General
09:30-09:50 Key note remarks: The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, Canada 
09:50-10:30 Blue Sky key note lecture: Luc Soete, former Rector Magnificus of Maastricht University, the Netherlands
10:30-11:00 Networking break - Poster gallery, science maps exhibit

Science and Innovation policy-making today: what big questions are begging for an answer?

Moderator: Mari Kiviniemi, OECD Deputy Secretary General

Key note remarks: Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal
                                What do we need to measure to foster “Knowledge as Our Common Future”?


  • Maryann Feldmann, University of North Carolina and National Science Foundation, United States 
  • Paula Stephan, Georgia State University, United States 
  • Sadao Nagaoka, Tokyo Keizai University and Japan Patent Office, Japan

Scope and limits of indicator use by STI policy

Innovation is a complex machine, involving several actors and linkages, working differently in different contexts and locations. This session will discuss to what extent policy makers use indicators to understand their science and innovation system, monitor improvements in the way it works, and assess the consequences of their own policies. In particular: can indicators conceived for measurement at a high level of aggregation be used to influence behaviour at a more micro level? To what extent can a plurality of indicators be synthesised into a handful or in a single composite index? Are there any alternatives? Are impact indicators of innovation being used as an (imperfect) substitute for analysis of impact and quantitative policy evaluation? How can researchers and data providers best support the evidence needs of science and innovation decision makers and deliver suitable indicators?

Moderator: Luis Sanz Menéndez, CSIC Institute of Public Goods and Policies, Spain

Key note remarksStephen Curry, Imperial College, London The Metric Tide report 


  • Wolfgang Polt, Joanneum Research Forschungsges.m.b.H., Austria
  • Charles Edquist, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark paper
  • Dániel Vértesy, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission paper
  • Frédérique Sachwald, Observatoire des Sciences et des Techniques (OST), France
13:15-14:30 Lunch

Towards more inclusive science and innovation indicators

There is a broad perception that we lack robust theories and measures that map the ways in which societies seek and adopt novel ideas to address their major challenges. This session will address the reasons why progress in this area of measurement has been limited and what changes and improvements are on the horizon. In this context, can indicators be developed that capture science and innovation in a broader set of environments, such as research areas outside the mainstream, socially excluded groups, local realities, developing world, users and users communities? Can indicators be used to promote socially responsible and inclusive research and innovation policies, practices and outcomes? Are there any relevant examples that can be recommended for broader international adoption? What policy processes would enable adoption of these new indicators?

Moderator: Monica Salazar, Inter-American Development Bank


15:45-16:15 Networking break - Poster gallery, science maps exhibit


Parallel sessions

20:00 Dinner at Handelsbeurs, Kouter 29, 9000 Ghent

Tuesday 20 September
08:15-09:00 Registration and networking

Blue Sky key note lecture: Scott Stern, MIT Sloan School of Management, United States paper

Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: A New Agenda for Measurement, Policy, and Action


Science and innovation policy-making in an era of Big Data

Decisions made by science and innovation policy makers, public agencies, university administrators, and many others increasingly leave a digital trace that can be used to help improve the basis of such decisions. Many countries are implementing quantitative and qualitative data infrastructures to support more evidence-based STI policy-making. Some of these are initiated as part of broader open government and big data initiatives, while others are more specific to the STI policy domain. Is science and innovation policy a suitable domain for the application of big data analytics? What is the state of the art? What are the emerging opportunities and limitations of these new tools and techniques? And what are the standards and best practices that governments can promote to ensure greater availability of evidence for decision making?

Moderator: Andrew Wyckoff, OECD, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation


11:00-11:30 Networking break - Poster gallery, science maps exhibit

New models and tools for measuring science and innovation impacts

Decision makers wish to understand the likely impacts of their actions in complex and uncertain environments. Measurement and attribution of impacts can be hampered by long lead times, an unknown degree of diffusion, as well as the need to account for systemic effects and actions by several actors. After 10 years of science for science and innovation policy initiatives, what models and tools are being successfully applied in order to improve our understanding of science and innovation impacts? To what extent are the implications of quantitative modelling taken into account in policy decisions? Also, what data and infrastructures are needed to “calibrate” and assess the performance of science and innovation models? What approaches can be used to facilitate the visualisation and understanding of impacts, beyond traditional “positioning” indicators?

Key note remarks: Commissioner Carlos Moedas (European Commission, Research, Science and Innovation)

Moderator: Dirk Pilat, OECD, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation


13:00-14:30 Lunch

New data and frontier tools: the challenge for official statistics in science and innovation

Traditional business models everywhere are being disrupted. Is that also the case for the production of science and innovation statistics? This session will discuss how national statistical organisations (NSOs) cope with the fragmentation of science and innovation data among several governmental agencies and private repositories. It will also consider the emergence of new data sources, data gathering and analysis tools such as web scraping, natural language processing of unstructured data, online surveys. In this context, are NSOs embracing and leveraging these new tools and testing their performance, or are they leaving them for other actors to exploit?  Are traditional NSO products such as survey data becoming less attractive to users, or do they remain instead unique and distinctive sources of intelligence? Ten years from now, what types of science and innovation statistics will be produced by NSOs?   

Moderator: Paul Schreyer, OECD, Statistics Directorate

Key note remarks: Jeff Chen, Chief Data Scientist, US Department of Commerce, United States


  • Michail Skaliotis, European Commission, Eurostat  
  • Dominik Rozkrut, Central Statistical Office, Poland 
  • Haig McCarrell, Statistics Canada
  • Elisabeth Kremp, National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), France
15:45-16:15 Networking break - Poster gallery, science maps exhibit

Parallel sessions

18:30-20:30 Guided City Tour starting from Het Pand, including stopover for Belgian beer and fries tasting

Wednesday 21 September
08:15-09:00 Registration and networking

Looking forward: what data infrastructures and partnerships?

Data infrastructures underpinning policy making can all too easily be taken for granted. As the focus turns to “killer charts”, headline indicators or tweets, is there a risk of underinvesting in resource intensive STI datasets, in their integration with other statistical infrastructures and in making them more widely available to address a variety of purposes? The recent trend in the codification and opening of government data also provides an opportunity for understanding how science and innovation takes place and trace its impacts. What opportunities do new digital technologies offer for developing next-generation infrastructures? Data from commercial or non-profit platforms are now beginning to provide new insights on key scientific and innovation processes. How can such disparate sources be brought together? This session will discuss what can be done to develop and turn STI data infrastructures of all types into more relevant and user-friendly tools for decision makers.

Moderator: Dominique Guellec, OECD, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation


  • Andrea Bonaccorsi, DISTEC, University of Pisa, Italy
  • Clara Eugenia Garcia, State Secretariat for Research, Development and Innovation, Spain
  • Laurel L. Haak, ORCID, United States
  • Ed Simons, euroCRIS, the Netherlands 

Networking break - Poster gallery, science maps exhibit


Parallel sessions


Concluding Panel: the Blue Sky Agenda

  • Kaye Husbands Fealing, Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Public Policy, United States
  • Patrick Vock, State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Switzerland and Chair OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP)
  • Yuko Harayama, Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI), Cabinet Office, Japan
  • Ward Ziarko, Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), Belgium
  • Jonathan Haskel, Imperial College London
  • Svein Olav Nås, Research Council Norway (RCN) and Chair OECD Working Party of National Experts on Science and Technology Indicators (NESTI)
13:30-14:30 Farewell lunch

DRAFT AGENDA - version 29 of August 2016 (subject to changes)

OECD Blue Sky Forum location: Het Pand 

Download the program in pdf


Parallel sessions

Parallel session Monday 19 September 16:15-18:00

Data analytics for science and innovation

Moderator: Katy Börner, Indiana University, United States

Technology diffusion and breakthroughs

Moderator: Mosahid Khan, WIPO

Developing novel indicators from scientometrics

Moderator: Laura Cruz, Institute of Public Goods and Policies, Spain

Capturing innovation in firms: do we get it right?

Moderator: Louise Earl, Statistics Canada

Leveraging the potential of administrative data for science and innovation policy

Moderator: Adam Jaffe, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, New Zealand

Parallel session Tuesday 20 September 16:15-18:00

Innovation and IP: what data gaps limit policy discussion?

Moderator: : Alan Marco, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, USA

Researchers on the move

Moderator: Emilda B. Rivers, National Science Foundation, USA

Interaction and impacts of STI policies

Moderator: Pierre Therrien, Department for Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Canada 

Capturing hidden innovators

Moderator: Vladimir Lopez-Bassols, Independent S&T policy consultant, USA

STI actors: the potential of direct surveys

Moderator: Fernando Galindo-Rueda, OECD

Parallel session Wednesday 21 September 10:45-12:15

Beyond indicators: the innovation and productivity nexus

Moderator: Mariagrazia Squicciarini, OECD

  • The Persistence of Growth of Large Corporations - An Exploratory Analysis of US Data 1963-2015, Giovanni Dosi, Institute of Economics, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna Marco Grazzi,  DSE, University of Bologna; Daniele Moschella, Institute of Economics, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna; Gary Pisano, Harvard University
  • Public and private sector intangibles: spillovers and productivity growth in the EU and the US, Carol Corrado, (The Conference Board), New York, Jonathan Haskel, (Imperial College ,CEPR and IZA), London, Cecilia Jona-Lasinio, (ISTAT and LUISS Lab), Rome
  • Innovation and productivity in formal and informal firms in Ghana, Xiaolan Fu (Oxford University), Pierre Mohnen (Maastricht University and UNU-MERIT), and Giacomo Zanello (University of Reading)

Towards standards for a common research infrastructure

Moderator: Cecilia Cabello, Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, Spain

Developing novel approaches to measure human capital and innovation

Moderator: John Gawalt, National Science Foundation, USA

Surveying innovation in different contexts

Moderator: : Tomohiro Ijichi, National Institute of Science and Technology Policy, Japan

Trust, culture and citizen's engagement in science and innovation

Moderator: Carthage Smith, OECD

The Blue Sky Forum is organised by the OECD in partnership with the Belgium’s Federal Science Policy Office, the Flanders Regional Government, the University of Ghent and the City of Ghent.

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