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What Do We Know About Innovation? The OECD’s Take

Mark Marich

For the past decade, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has sponsored a significant number of research studies focused on various aspects of innovation and innovation policy. A new OECD research paper takes stock of what we’ve learned about innovation, with the purpose of influencing the ongoing development of a new OECD Innovation Policy.

The report, “OECD Work on Innovation: A Stocktaking of Existing Work,” provides an invaluable literature review that cannot really be summarized in a short synopsis. However, several key themes stand out.

Getting framework conditions (e.g. an effective regulatory environment) right should be a top priority for any set of innovation policies. In addition, the report notes that policymakers still do a poor job in terms of evaluating the impact of leading innovation policies. Effective measurement of innovation is another area where current knowledge is lacking.

Report: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Science and Technology Working Paper (STI 2009-2), “OECD Work on Innovation: A Stocktaking of Existing Work,” by Sarah Box.

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