RR39 2004/10 "Priorities in Science & Technology Policy - An internal Comparison"

Publication from Policies

J. Schindler, M. Weber, S. Mahroum, K. Kubeczko, M. Keenan, H. Gassler, W. Polt

, 10/2004


Priority-setting in RTD-policy has become an issue of major concern in most OECD countries, and in particular in the EU where the emergence of the European Research Area has triggered a debate on the (re-)focusing of national research and technology portfolios. However, the outcomes and processes of priority-setting differ significantly across countries, and most governments are in search of good practices of priority-setting.
In this report, a comparative analysis of current practices of priority-setting in some selected OECD countries including Canada, Ireland, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom is given. The practices in terms of policies, instruments and institutions may differ within this set of selected countries considerably due to national cultures and historically grown characteristics, and the rigidities of the institutional framework and of organisational settings are such that path-dependencies can hardly be avoided. Still, one can observe an overall pattern of convergence of guiding concepts underlying research and technology policy, concentrating on the approach of National Innovation Systems (NIS), and these common grounds in terms of understanding of and dealing with research and innovation facilitate the mutual learning from other countries’ experiences.

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