Science, technology and innovation policy

Innovation for Inclusive Growth




Over the past three decades, income inequalities have risen to unprecedented levels in many OECD countries. Fostering inclusive growth is at the top of many governments’ agendas because high levels of inequality negatively affect well-being and growth. The aims of the OECD's innovation for inclusive growth project have been to provide evidence on the impacts of innovation and related policies on inclusive growth, focusing on social, industrial and territorial inclusiveness; and develop concrete policy solutions for innovation to support inclusive growth. For more details, download the inclusive innovation project brochure.


In 2015 and 2016 the project focused on the following priority themes:

  • The effects of digital innovation on inclusiveness. Important themes are the opportunities these innovations generate for lower-income and excluded social groups and the implications of the digital economy on market dynamics and on the distribution of income.

  • The distribution of innovation capacities across regions within countries, and the trends in territorial inequalities across a number of innovation input and output factors.

  • The role inclusive innovation policies can play in tackling inclusiveness challenges. These policies  aim to remove the barriers found by some individuals, social groups, firms and regions to participate in innovation activities.

The findings of this phase of the project are presented in the report “Making Innovation Benefit All: Policies for Inclusive Growth”. 

impacts of digital innovations on inclusive growth

Impacts of digital innovations on inclusive growth

Over 2013 and 2014 the project examined how innovation could serve inclusive development, including policy options for scaling up inclusive innovations in education and other key sectors.

To that end, it focused on China, Colombia, India, Indonesia and South Africa, but also explored experiences of OECD countries and other economies. The findings are synthesised in the publication "Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth" released in June 2015.

Related work includes the the National Intellectual Property Systems, Innovation and Economic Development project which supports countries in strengthening the contributions their IP systems can make to socio-economic development.

As part of this project, the OECD has developed a framework that discusses how IP systems can best serve development and conducted reviews of the national IP systems of Colombia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Malaysia.


 The policy cases presented in this toolkit informed the OECD report Making Innovation Benefit All: Policies for Inclusive Growth.

Making Innovation Benefit All: Policies for Inclusive Growth

March 2017

This report discusses the mechanisms through which innovations based on information and communication technologies (ICT) may have effects on social inclusion. The report also assesses the dispersion of innovation performance across regions within countries. A core focus of the report is on exploring how innovation policies can contribute to inclusive growth and how they can be implemented efficiently. Moreover, the report discusses the role policies expanding access to higher education can play in supporting inclusive growth.

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Boosting Kazakhstan's National Intellectual Property System for Innovation

Boosting Kazakhstan’s National Intellectual Property System for Innovation

August 2016

This report analyses Kazakhstan’s IP system with regards to its support of the country’s innovation performance. In particular, it assesses the organisation and governance of Kazakhstan's IP system as well as the needs and challenges faced by different groups of actual and potential IP users – ranging from universities and public research institutions to state-owned enterprises and small businesses. The review provides a comprehensive set of statistics describing the use of IP in Kazakhstan in recent years, identifies the system’s strengths and weaknesses, and presents a range of specific policy recommendations to address existing challenges.

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Boosting Malaysia's National IP System for Innovation

Boosting Malaysia's National Intellectual Property System for Innovation

September 2015

In order to attain its objective of becoming a high-income economy by 2020, Malaysia is engaged in efforts to enhance the performance of its innovation system. A range of challenges need to be addressed and different policy tools can help in this respect. For this purpose the national intellectual property (IP) system can play a pivotal role. 

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Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth book cover June 2015

Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth

June 2015

This report looks at a variety of inclusive innovation initiatives and innovative products aimed at improving the welfare of lower-income and excluded groups, notably in terms of essential public services (education, infrastructure and health).

Read more.


Advisory Group meetings


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