Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation

The OECD Innovation Strategy: further information



Rationale | Defining Innovation | Goals | Project pillars
Expert Advisory Group | Resources and links | Events





In 2007, Ministers agreed that promoting innovation would require a cross-government policy.

Why a new approach?

  • Today economies and innovation are more complex, dynamic and global. Funding domestic research institutes is no longer sufficient to drive innovation.
  • New drivers of innovation have emerged around the world, such as consumer demand for improved products or processes. Social factors in low and middle income countries also drive the demand for innovative new products, such as a safe, fuel-efficient $2,000 car for India.
  • Technology collaboration and knowledge sharing has gone global, through new business models, new management strategies and better educated populations. The Internet is the central nervous system of these vital knowledge networks. By making cross-border collaboration instantaneous and easy, the Internet and related communications technologies have changed the rules of the innovation game. 
  • Non-OECD countries (notably the BRICS) and other new players are  making larger investments in science and technology, but also building capacity to absorb and adapt knowledge and technology from abroad.

As a result, they are increasingly able to exploit the global pool of knowledge to spur innovation.

The strategy builds on work across the OECD in innovation, the services sector, entrepreneurship and the broader business environment. Ministers particularly welcomed a cross-divisional approach that can more effectively address global challenges, notably in the environment and health.

The work will also examine the functioning of the current intellectual property rights system in a more open business environment for innovation and propose ways to stimulate innovation while also providing access to knowledge.


 Defining Innovation



The Oslo Manual defines four types of innovation: product innovation, process innovation, marketing innovation and organisational innovation.


Product innovation

A good or service that is new or significantly improved. This includes significant improvements in technical specifications, components and materials, software in the product, user friendliness or other functional characteristics.


Process innovation

A new or significantly improved production or delivery method. This includes significant changes in techniques, equipment and/or software.


Marketing innovation

A new marketing method involving significant changes in product design or packaging, product placement, product promotion or pricing.


Organisational innovation

A new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations.





The Innovation Strategy aims to develop:

  • A set of principles that span across the entire policy arena (whole of government approach)  on governance systems for promoting innovation and assessing its impact.
  • A framework for dialogue and review at the national and international levels.
  • Thematic, country and cross-country analyses and best practices. Conclusions will focus on methods for effective promotion, reporting, measurement and assessment of innovation.
  • An Innovation Performance Scoreboard.
  • A list of best practices and recommendations for a coherent policy approach to tackle global challenges such as climate change.

The final OECD Innovation Strategy report is due in May 2010.


 Project pillars



Innovation is closely linked with economic growth and productivity gains. Strengthening the conceptual and empirical links between innovation and economic performance is a primary objective of the Innovation Strategy that will complement and extend OECD’s previous work.


Five pillars of analysis


Research will focus on three dynamic and interdependent elements of the ecosystem which innovation needs to thrive: markets and governance, human capital and global dimensions.


Two additional research themes cut across all three elements: measurement, and the impact of the changing nature of innovation.


Taken together, these form the five pillars of analysis at the heart of the Innovation Strategy’s effort to build a cross-government approach.



The following are core concepts in the OECD Innovation Strategy:


Pillar 1. The changing nature of innovation

Globalisation and information technologies are expanding the base of actors involved in innovation within and across national boundaries. This pillar examines the changing nature of innovation, the potential effects on innovation performance and policy ramifications.


Pillar 2. Human capital

A country’s innovation capacity increasingly depends on taking advantage of human capital. The work in this pillar studies the innovation impact of better educated populations as well as accessibility of knowledge, the Internet and social networks. It will also assess cultural and motivational factors.


Pillar 3. Markets and governance

This pillar focuses on market structures, governance mechanisms and institutional arrangements as key elements of the innovation ecosystem. It considers three important trends:

  • New market structures and innovation incentives.
  • Changes in markets which affect the boundaries of the firm in the innovation context.
  • National and regional government policies affecting innovation.


Pillar 4A. Global dimensions of innovation:
Encouraging growth

The first part of this pillar addresses the geography of innovation in OECD countries (and its contribution to growth), evaluating the actors, networks and related essential infrastructure. It focuses on increasing opportunities for firms of all sizes to engage in markets beyond local and national boundaries. It also considers lessons to be learned from developing countries.


Pillar 4B. Global dimensions of innovation:
Innovation for society

The second part of the pillar focuses on how innovation can be employed to address three key policy challenges at the global scale – supporting the development agenda, responding to climate change, and protecting global health. The work will identify how openness and co-operation, coupled with new actors, ICT infrastructure and adaptation-centred innovation performance, can help ensure that international strategies produce effective solutions to these challenges.


Pillar 5. Measurement

The measurement pillar plays three important roles in this analytical framework. First, it supports work in the other pillars on identifying priority measurement gaps and developing reliable methodologies. Second, it aims to help build a coherent, whole-of-government view by identifying and integrating measurements into the analytical framework. Third, it will contribute to linking microdata-based evidence to growth and economic performance.


 Expert Advisory Group



An expert advisory group, comprised of the following experts nominated by member governments and other selected governments, will provide advice and feedback on the plan, performance and outputs of the Innovation Strategy.


In addition, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC) and the Trade Union Adivsory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) are engaged in providing feedback and advice on the project.


Various OECD directorates are collaborating on the Innovation Strategy under the overall management of OECD Deputy Secretary-General Pier Carlo Padoan and Andrew Wyckoff of the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry.




Ms. Katharine Campbell
Science, Research and Innovation Counsellor to Australian Delegation to OECD
Australian Embassy and Mission to the EU in Brussels



Mr. Wolfgang Polt 
Joanneum Research
Head of Viennese Office of the Institute for Technology and Regional Policy



Mrs. Veerle Lories
Acting Secretary General
Department of Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI)
Government of Flanders



Robert McDougall
Permanent Delegation of Canada to the OECD


 Czech Republic

Mr. Misoslav Janecek
Consultant, and Head of the Independent Expert Panel of the Eurostars Programme
Member of the R&D Council of Government of the Czech Republic



Ms. Betina Hagerup
Deputy Permanent Secretary of Business Affairs
Danish Ministry of Economics and Business Affairs



Mr. Kimmo Halme
Managing Director
Advansis Oy



Prof. Dr. Knut Blind
Chair of Innovation Economics, and Head of Competence Center "Regulation and Innovation" of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research
Berlin University of Technology



Prof. Nicos Komninos
Urban and Regional Innovation (URENIO) Research Unit
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki



Prof. Dr. Gyula Sallai
Head of Department and Vice-rector
Dept of Telecommunications and Media Informatics
Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME)



Prof. Giovanni Tria
Professor of Economics
CEIS Director
Centre for Economic and International Studies
University of Rome "Tor Vergata"



To alternate:

Prof. Ryuji Shimoda
Professor, Integrated Research Institute
Tokyo Institute of Technology


Dr. Ichiro Sakata
Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute
Innovation Policy Research Centre and Graduate School of Engineering
University of Tokyo



Dr. Sungchul Chung
Senior Fellow
Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI)



Mr. Victor Manuel Reyes Peniche
Director of Business Innovation



Dr. Theo J.A. Roelandt
Chief Analyst for Enterprise & Innovation
Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs



Ms. Kjerstin Spjøtvoll
Director General
Ministry of Trade and Industry


Ms. Aneta Wilmanska
Policy Agency for Enterprise Development



Prof. Maria João Rodrigues
Special Advisor to the European Commission
President, High Level Group of Mobility in Europe (Erasmus), European Commission
IEEI, Institute for Strategic and International Studies


 Slovak Republic 

Mr. Martin Hlinka
Senior Advisor
Department for Industry and Innovation
Ministry of Economy



Mr. Juan Mulet
General Manager



Mr. Sven Sjögren
Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications/Näringsdepartementet



Ms. Verena Weber
Federal Department for Economic Affairs


 United Kingdom

To alternate:

Mr. Mark Beatson
Head of Science and Innovation Analysis
Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS)


Mr. David Evans
Director of Innovation


 United States

Ms. Lesa Mitchell
Vice President
Kauffman Foundation


flag Commission of the European Community

Mr. Peter Dröll
Head of Innovation Policy Development
Directorate General Entreprise and Industry

Mr. Tonnie De Koster


 Resources and links



Background reading


Selected OECD publications on innovation


OECD links


External links





The new innovation imperative in a networked world

16-18 November 2009, San Francisco, California

This three-day workshop brings together a select group of business leaders and influencers in an intimate setting: a unique opportunity to learn how to innovate in a world permeated by networks.


New models of innovation for economic growth and sustainability

12-13 November 2009, Paris, France

The focus of this meeting will be on new models of innovation and on how innovation can be instrumental in the run towards a sustainable system.


OECD Global Forum on Environment and Eco-Innovation

4-5 November 2009 in the OECD Conference Centre, Paris

Most OECD countries consider eco-innovation as an important part of the response to contemporary challenges, including climate change and energy security. In addition, many countries consider that eco-innovation could be a source of competitive advantages in the fast-growing environmental goods and services sector.


STEM Enterprise: Measures for Innovation and Competitiveness

21-23 October 2009 at George Washington University, Washington DC

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are the driving force for the U.S. and worldwide economical and social advancements. Our goal is to bring leaders to discuss important questions facing STEM and to develop policy positions based on concrete data and proven algorithms. It is prudent to develop STEM policies that are derived from incorruptible data and measures to best plan for a healthy and productive enterprise, future economic growth, and rapid innovation.


OECD workshop on demand-led innovation policies
14-15 September 2009, Paris, France

A key finding from this workshop was that governments need to align technology-push instruments like grants and incentives for R&D with demand-pull policy instruments such as public procurement and regulations. The discussions and expert presentations provided further insights and examples as to how countries are attempting to implement this in practice.


OECD Conference on Potential Environmental Benefits of Nanotechnology: Fostering Safe Innovation-Led Growth
Paris, 15-17 July 2009
This conference will cover both the opportunities and the challenges of the use of nanotechnologies for potential environmental benefit. The aim is to learn from international expertise and to identify ways in which to improve in a timely manner policies with the potential to enhance both short- and long-term economic growth.


ERRIN Spring Event: Regions as Catalysts of Open Innovation

Residence Palace, International Press Center, 155 rue de la Loi, Brussels, 11 June 2009

This ERRIN conference will bring together EC officials, regional policy
officers and policy-makers and open innovation experts to explore this new concept


Kauffman/OECD workshop on new practices in entrepreneurship and innovation
Kansas City, Missouri, 23-24 June 2009


The Innovation Economy: Getting new ideas, new partners and new growth for the global economy
An international policy dialogue
Brussels, 2 June 2009


ICTs, the environment and climate change
Helsingør, Denmark, 27-28 May 2009


Enhancing Innovation: OECD Workshop on Collaborative Mechanisms for Intellectual Property Management
Paris, 4-5 May 2009
This workshop will focus on collaborative mechanisms such as IP clearinghouses, patent pools, model/framework agreements, IP exchanges and auctions, and other forms of innovation partnerships. Several initiatives to be presented at the workshop have garnered international attention.


Roundtable on Policy Responses to the Economic Crisis
OECD, Paris, 1 April 2009


International Service Science Summit conference
Hosted by Aalto University and IBM
Otaniemi, Espoo, Finland, 26-27 March 2009


United Kingdom-OECD workshop on innovation and policy for virtual worlds
OECD, Paris, 11 March 2009, 14:30-18:00
How can virtual worlds usefully contribute to innovation, the transformation of business, government and public services, and to improving productivity and to the innovative delivery of services to citizens? How should public policy and governance frameworks be adapted to support governments, citizens and businesses using virtual worlds?


Approaches to the measurement of innovation in the public sector/services
London, 9-10 March 2009
Sponsored by the OECD (NESTI), the Danish Ministry for Science Technology and Innovation, Universities and Skills, and the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA).


Innoviale Ruhr 2009
Witten, Germany, 3 March 2009
Organised by the Association for the Ruhrgebiet, this conference aims to stimulate an exchange of experience, best practices, and research on innovation. It also offers the opportunity for innovation supporters to meet with companies. The conference includes three workshops on “R&D”, “financing” and “innovation management”.

Informal seminar on innovation policy in the current economic crisis
Paris, 16 February 2009
The first of a series of roundtables proposed by the Finnish Ambassador to the OECD and examining national experiences which shed light on how innovation policies can be deployed in support of a recovery.


Innovation and productivity: firm-level analysis
Paris, 11-12 February 2009
A 1.5-day brainstorming session on (1) innovation and productivity (extensions to the core CDM model), project led by Canada and (2) innovation modes and productivity, project led by the UK. The goal is to have a first discussion of the modeling framework and data requirements.


Workshop on Innovation for Development: Converting Knowledge to Value
Paris, 28-30 January 2009


Symposium on global open innovation networks
Paris, 23 January 2009


Workshop on "ICT and innovation: what is working what is not?"
Paris, 11 December 2008


Workshop on network approaches to innovation
Paris, 8 December 2008


Joint OECD-World Bank Conference: Innovation and Sustainable Growth in a Globalised World
Paris, 18-19 November 2008


Symposium on international comparison of the budget cycle in R&D and innovation policies
Madrid, July 2008


Meeting of OECD Council at Ministerial Level. Innovation: Advancing the OECD Agenda for Growth and Equity,
Paris, May 2007


"Blue Sky II 2006" meeting: What Indicators for Science, Technology and Innovation Policies in the 21st Century?
Ottawa, September 2006



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