Emerging technologies

Biotechnology Statistics Progress Report 2004



The Fifth Ad hoc Biotechnology Statistics Meeting, set up under the aegis of the National Experts on Science and Technology Indicators (NESTI) group, was held in Paris on 24-25 May 2004.

Twenty member countries, four observer countries (China, India, Israel and South Africa), as well as the European Commission and BIAC, participated: in total there were 47 Delegates, two observers and eight members of the OECD.

Main outcomes

The main outcomes and deadlines for future work of the meeting are as follows:      

Issues relating to the Biotechnology Statistics Framework were presented by the Secretariat, Belgium and Canada. The Biotechnology Statistics Framework is a document that brings together all the accomplishments of the group to-date: concepts and definitions for statistical purposes and guidelines for the compilation of biotechnology indicators, including model questions for inclusion in national surveys. A group consisting of Canada, Germany, Korea, the United States and two observers agreed to continue work with the OECD Secretariat to finalise the Framework.

Once all the revisions have been incorporated into the Framework document, it will be circulated to the Ad hoc Biotechnology Statistics Meeting participants for comment and then to the Working Party on Biotechnology for comment. Once the comments have been taken on board, the Framework will be presented to the NESTI group for approval and subsequently to the Committee for Science and Technology Policy (CSTP) for declassification. The plan is to release the final Framework document in early 2005.

The Secretariat presented the work that still needs to be undertaken in order to validate the definition of biotechnology patents, building on the work presented at the 2003 Ad hoc Biotechnology Statistics Meeting.

The participants were informed of the United Nations’ plan to include biotechnology as a subdivision of ISIC class 67 (Scientific research and development) in ISIC Rev 4. The category would be 6711 (Research and experimental development in biotechnology). Comments on the ISIC draft structure are requested to be sent by 15 November 2004 directly to the UN Classifications Hotline – e-mail at [email protected].

Having reached the objectives set out when the initial meeting on biotechnology statistics was held in 2000, a group of countries – Canada, Denmark, India, Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as two observers – volunteered to prepare a new set of objectives outlining the potential future programme of work to be undertaken by the Ad hoc Biotechnology Statistics Meeting.

An inventory of OECD and observer countries’ collections of biotechnology statistics was since released and can be downloaded from our website at: http//



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