Paris, 23 Jan 2004
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
Science and technology influence society as never before. Scientific achievements continue to expand the frontier of knowledge at a sustained pace and increasingly contribute to technological progress that affects our ways of living and working. This is giving rise to policy initiatives and reforms that are high on Ministers' policy agenda, requiring exchanges of views and debate at political level.
This Ministerial meeting also will provide an opportunity to reach agreement on important, timely and concrete deliverables, notably with regard to possible recommendations aiming at facilitating the international diffusion of knowledge or the implementation of international scientific co-operation.
The three key policy issues for discussion at the Ministerial are:
Managing the interface between innovation and science systems. The contribution of science and technology to sustainable growth calls for greater and more efficient interactions between the public research system and the business sector. Discussions will focus on reforms to improve the governance of public research, the role of intellectual property in creating incentives to innovation while fostering the diffusion of knowledge and lessons from policy initiatives to increase business R&D, including through the development of public-private partnerships.
Improving the development and mobility of human resources in S&T. Human resources in science and technology are the core of scientific discovery, innovation and growth. Discussions on this topic will focus on the many challenges (e.g. diminishing interest in science and mathematics among youth and the global competition for talent) that OECD countries face in maintaining an adequate S&T workforce to meet future needs as well as an exchange of views on policy responses. Ministers may call on further work by the OECD in this area, in particular as regards the development of statistics on the career paths of science and technology PhD graduates and the sectoral and geographic mobility of S&T personnel.
International co-operation in science and technology. Several global-scale issues have been identified for discussion and action by Ministers, in particular access to research data from public funding and international S&T co-operation for sustainable development. Ministers will be called to endorse Declarations on both of these issues which will be annexed to the Ministerial Communiqué. The other global-scale issues to be considered by Ministers include the need for international co-operation in high-energy physics and neuroinformatics, the endorsement of efforts to establish a global biological resources centres network by 2006, and a call to strengthen OECD work on the contribution of biotechnology to health and industrial innovation.