Innovation Policy and Performance: A Cross-Country Comparison

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

This report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development examines the relationship between innovation policy and performance in six OECD countries – Austria, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

In advanced industrial countries, science, technology and innovation have been the principle source of long-run economic growth and increasing social well-being. In the future, the innovation performance of a country is likely to be even more crucial to its future economic and social development. Innovation policy plays an important role in influencing innovation performance, but must be closely tailored to specific needs, capabilities and institutional structures of each country. 

Using a common framework based on the National Innovation Systems approach this report highlights countries’ strengths and weaknesses in innovation, as well as the effectiveness of their innovation policies in driving economic performance. Taken together, the country studies constitute a rich evidence base which will be of considerable interest to innovation policy makers in all OECD countries. They indicate that countries share a need to adapt – or even profoundly change – their innovation policies in order to deal with opportunities and threats posed by new technological and economic developments. A synthesis chapter reviews the main findings of the study and derives key policy conclusions. 

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