Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation
Science, technology and innovation in the time of COVID-19
Science, technology and innovation (STI) have played a key role in responding to the
COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented socio-economic crisis it has triggered. This
paper explores how the pandemic affected STI in 2020, including how STI was mobilised
to provide vaccines, treatments and innovative (often digital) solutions to address
“social distancing”. The paper also reviews the quick and agile STI policy responses
implemented across countries to stimulate research and innovation activities to find
solutions to the pandemic. Moreover, the paper covers STI policies that targeted universities,
research centres, innovative businesses and entrepreneurs most affected by the crisis.
It also raises key debates on the effectiveness of such policies. Follow-up work will
leverage more and better data to improve this early assessment of the impacts of the
crisis and STI policy responses.