TopicsScience and innovation

5-6 November 2018: Workshop on digital technology for science and innovation – Emerging topics for policy and assessment  Watch the replays

Digitalisation is changing science

All stages of the scientific process, from the development of research agendas to the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge are being radically altered by digitalisation.

This new world of open science and big data holds enormous promise but at the same time it presents new challenges for policy makers, scientific institutions and individual researchers.

Find out more in our policy note on fostering science and innovation in the digital age and this selection of papers:

Innovation in science and technology has been changed by digital transformation. For example, we can more easily access research or use tech such as a 3D printing to quickly create prototypes. Governments have a role to play by introducing supportive policies such as encouraging public-private partnerships and fostering the spread of digital know-how.

Digital innovation: Seizing policy opportunities

Digital Innovation: Seizing Policy Opportunities discusses how the digital transformation – digital technologies, data and software, AI-based analytics and other advances – is changing innovation processes and outcomes. It highlights the general trends across the economy and factors behind sector-specific dynamics, including increasing use of data as a key input for innovation, the expanding possibilities for experimentation offered by virtual simulation, 3D printing and other digital technologies, and the growing focus on services innovation enabled by digital technologies.

In view of such changes, the report evaluates how innovation policies should adapt to foster innovation and inclusive development in the digital age, and identifies priority areas for policy action. It also explores novel innovation policy approaches implemented by countries to foster digital technology adoption and collaborative innovation.

See also

OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook: Adapting to technological and societal disruption

Science, technology and innovation activities face sevral disruptive drivers of change. How can STI policies adapt to the challenges and opportunities of growing digitalisation and the digital age?

The STI Outlook 2018 reviews key trends in science, technology and innovation policy in OECD countries and a number of major partner economies. The 14 chapters cover a range of areas:

  • An introduction to the 2018 edition of the STI Outlook
  • Artificial intelligence and the technologies of the next production revolution
  • Perspectives on innovation policies in the digital age
  • STI policies for delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning in science
  • Enhanced access to data for science, technology and innovation
  • Addressing gender inequalities in STI
  • New trends in public research funding
  • The governance of public research policy across OECD countries
  • Technology governance and the innovation process
  • New approaches in STI policy design and experimentation
  • The digitalisation of science and innovation policy
  • Mixing experimentation and targeting: Innovative entrepreneurship policy in a digitised world
  • Towards the next generation of data and indicators


The next production revolution

Technological development will inevitably disrupt today’s industries, and incumbent firms will be challenged as new technologies redefine the terms of competitive success. The precise pace and scale of future adjustments are unknown. But resilience and prosperity will be more likely in countries with forward-looking policies, better functioning institutions, better educated and informed citizens, and critical technological capabilities in a number of sectors.

The Next Production Revolution: Implications for Government and Business examines the opportunities and challenges, for business and government, associated with technologies bringing about the “next production revolution”. The technologies considered in this report, from information and communication technologies and robots to new materials, have more to contribute to productivity than they currently do. Often, their use is predominantly in larger firms. And even in those firms, many potential applications are underused.