Iris Kisjes: Tell me a little about the OECD’s background.
Hiroyuki Tomizawa: The OECD provides a forum for the governments of 30 likeminded market democracies to compare policy experiences, share best practices and seek answers to common economic, social and governance challenges.
“We believe that innovation in science and technology plays a crucial role in a country's economic development.”
Established in 1948 to lead the Marshall Plan for rebuilding Europe after the Second World War, the OECD has been collecting and analyzing statistical, economic and social data at the request of its members since 1961. These data are used to generate collective policy discussions, leading to decision making and implementation. For instance, our Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard, which comes out every 2 years, explores the interaction between knowledge and globalization at the heart of the ongoing transformation of OECD economies.
What is OECD’s current focus?
In recent years, we’ve expanded our focus on our 30 member countries to offer analytical expertise and experience to over 100 developing and emerging market economies. This has to a certain extent been driven by globalization, which has made it virtually impossible to study specific areas in isolation.
This has seen the scope of our work shift from the examination of individual policy areas within each member country to the analysis of how various policy areas interact with each other and with other countries, including those outside the OECD group.
What kind of analysis does this involve?
Well, we’ve actually come to realize that analysis alone is not enough; to truly help governments foster the kind of innovation that drives economic growth, we need to help them develop strategies. We believe that innovation in science and technology plays a crucial role in a country's economic development. Our member governments agree, and have increased R&D spending by around 3% per annum since the mid-1990s. Countries that have put emphasis on innovation in their policies have enjoyed higher economic growth.
To help our members innovate successfully, we’re developing an innovation strategy, which will provide mutually reinforcing policies and recommendations to boost innovation performance, pointing to general and country-specific practices and, where appropriate, developing guidelines.
This work will culminate in a report to ministers in 2010, but some patterns are already clear. For instance, are governments doing enough to foster collaboration between universities and businesses, and not just within their borders? Many key inventions, such as the World Wide Web, came out of public basic research. Are governments doing enough to strengthen this bedrock of innovation?
We also intend to focus on subject areas where we’ve seen significant impact on the economy, such as life science, biotechnology, nanotechnology and environmental science.
Why did the OECD decide to use Scopus Custom Data?
We’re currently using Scopus Custom Data for our research, analysis and benchmarking work in the development of our innovation strategy. The three key factors behind this decision were Scopus’ broad international coverage, clean and flexible data, and advanced features, such as the ability to link between authors and institutions.
How more specifically will OECD use Scopus Custom Data?
We anticipate using Scopus data to analyze global trends and identify subject areas that are experiencing intense activity, to understand research activities at the country level and make comparative analyses between countries, and to understand coauthorship and collaboration across borders. In a competitive knowledge society, countries are deploying policies to attract the best talent, but it’s not always easy for them to assess whether they have been successful or not.
“Countries that have put emphasis on innovation in their policies have enjoyed higher economic growth.”
These groups possibly can benefit from OECD reports we will provide to governments as part of our innovation strategy: policy makers, funding agencies, and governmental and commercial research organizations. Serving as the primary source of data for our reports, Scopus data will contribute to the OECD achieving its goals and will help us determine the direction of future economic decision making.