Brussels, 07 Aug 2003
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY INDICATORS
EUROPEAN RESEARCH AREA (STI-ERA)
"When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind" (Lord Kelvin)
"Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted." (Albert Einstein)
What are S&T indicators for?
The mission of the unit "Competitiveness, economic analysis, indicators" in DG Research is to identify relevant data on science and technology, to convert them into meaningful indicators on scientific and technological performances and developments and, on this basis, to provide policy-relevant economic analyses for the European Research Area.
Why is this work necessary? In order to develop policies to move towards the ERA and to become "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy of the world" there is a need for a sound base of comparable and policy-relevant data relating to research in Europe. In particular, it is important to have reliable indicators that can describe the S&T performances of countries and regions and their dynamics. Indicators are also increasingly used as a starting point for exploring possible areas of best practice in S&T policy. Examples of indicators analysed in our unit include indicators of human resources in S&T, such as the number of researchers, indicators of countries' financial efforts in research, such as R&D expenditure, indicators on scientific and technological performance, such as publications and patents, as well as indicators of the economic significance of S&T such as high tech employment or export of high tech products.
Content of STI-ERA
On the web sites of STI-ERA we inform you about our work and provide you with
our publications, as for instance the 'European report on S&T Indicators' or the 'Key Figures',
scoreboards of S&T indicators for the ERA in an interactive map,
information about our projects such as
projects running under the 8th priority 'Policy-oriented research' of the 6th Framework Programme
projects running under the special activity on the "Common Basis for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators",
indicators for the benchmarking exercise,
mapping of excellence in economics and
relevant publications and reports as well as
links to Eurostat services, European statistical offices and research institutes and to databases with S&T indicators.