Towards a new vision of innovation through COVID-19?
A comparative reading of 11 countries’ strategies
This paper discusses how countries’ vision for science, technology and innovation
(STI) priorities has evolved through COVID-19. The analysis was conducted on a sample
of 171 STI strategy documents from 11 countries that were released between 2013 and
2021. Depending on the context, these documents seek to build consensus, manage actors,
communicate or signal directions for policy, or achieve internal organisational motives.
Most of the documents that have emerged since the COVID-19 crisis focus on a dominant
ambitious societal goal and specific technologies to implement that goal. For example,
environmental sustainability is a shared goal across different countries’ STI strategies,
but its specific meaning differs. Most countries’ STI strategies also identify digitalisation
as an important tool to achieve other socio-economic goals. Inclusivity is prominent
in agendas reflecting country-specific circumstance. Improving resilience is a shared
priority and increased in prominence with the COVID-19 experience.