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Skills for Innovation and Research
OECD Publishing, February 2011, Pages: 144
Innovation holds the key to ongoing improvements in living standards, as well as to solving pressing social challenges. Skilled people play a crucial role in innovation through the new knowledge they generate, how they adopt and develop existing ideas, and through their ability to learn new competencies and adapt to a changing environment.
This book seeks to increase understanding of the links between skills and innovation. It explores the wide range of skills required, ranging from technical to "soft", and the ability to learn; it presents data and evidence on countries' stocks and flows of skills and the links between skill inputs and innovation outputs. Given the importance of meeting the demands of knowledge-based economic activity, the book investigates the issues of skill supply, education, workplace training and work organisation. It highlights the importance of enabling individuals to acquire appropriate skills and of optimising these at work.
OECD countries have long emphasised the development of skilled people through education and training, in recognition of the positive link between human capital and economic growth and productivity. But as countries seek new sources of growth to underpin a strong and sustainable future, they increasingly seek to know more about the types of skills that support innovation and the best ways to develop them. Innovation holds the key to ongoing improvements in living standards, as well as to solving some of the pressing social challenges facing OECD and non-OECD economies alike. Skilled people play a crucial role in innovation through the new knowledge they generate, the way they adopt and adapt existing ideas, and their ability to learn new competencies and adapt to a changing environment.
This book seeks to increase understanding of the links between skills and innovation and to highlight where further analysis would be useful. It was prepared under the auspices of the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry’s Working Party on Research Institutions and Human Resources (RIHR). This group’s mandate encompasses analysis of the skills base for research and innovation and its 2009-10 programme of work included a project on developing human capital for research and innovation. The project was also linked to the OECD’s Innovation
Strategy, a wider endeavour to address countries’ needs for a more comprehensive, coherent and timely understanding of how to promote, measure and assess innovation and its underlying dynamics. The secretariat of RIHR and the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) co-led the Strategy’s work on human capital for innovation.
Chapter 1. Skills and innovation – Links, questions and challenges
The links between human capital and innovation
Policy questions and methodological challenges
Summary and approach
Chapter 2. What are the skills needed for innovation?
Skills for innovation – insights from the literature
Chapter 3. What the data and evidence say about skills and innovation
Skills and innovation at the country level
Skills and innovation at the industry level
Skills at work
Chapter 4. Developing and using skills for innovation – Policy issues
Supply of skills
Education and skills for innovation
Table 3.1. G7 employment by sector, 1980 and 2007
Table 4.1. Percentage of employees who received training by sector, occupation and employment status
Figure 3.1. Adult literacy and life skills
Figure 3.2. Graduation rates at doctoral level, 2000 and 2007
Figure 3.3. Science and engineering degrees at doctoral level, 2007
Figure 3.4. Employment of tertiary-level graduates
Figure 3.5. Proportion of the working age population in different occupations, 1998 and 2006
Figure 3.6. Shares of HRST occupations and researchers in total employment
Figure 3.7. Services employment, 1980 and 2007
Figure 3.8. HRST occupations by industry, 2008
Figure 3.9. Growth of HRST occupations by industry, 1997-2007
Figure 3.10. Highly skilled workers in medium-high- and high-technology industries and knowledge-intensive business services
Figure 3.11. Growth of business enterprise researchers, 1998-2008
Figure 3.12. Doctoral graduates (1990-2006) by sector of employment, 2006
Figure 3.13. Business enterprise R&D personnel and product innovation
Figure 4.1. Firms engaged in innovation-related training activities, by size, 2004-06
Box 1.1. How does human capital spur innovation?
Box 1.2. What is a “skill”?
Box 1.3. Scope and coverage of HRST
Box 2.1. Managerial and entrepreneurial talent
Box 2.2. Skills for creativity and design
Box 2.3. Learning in firms
Box 2.4. Consumer skills
Box 2.5. Skills and the innovation process
Box 2.6. Classes of innovation and associated skills
Box 2.7. Low skill equilibria
Box 2.8. “Greening” occupations
Box 3.1. Educational attainment – still room for improvement
Box 3.2. The impact of international and foreign students
Box 3.3. The ANSKILL database
Box 3.4. The O-NET approach to skills
Box 3.5. The OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies
Box 4.1. National innovation strategies – the role of human capital
Box 4.2. The impact of the economic downturn
Box 4.3. Linking the developmental capacities of tertiary education to labour market demands
Box 4.4. Women in S&T careers
Box 4.5. Curricula and career advice to support scientific careers
Box 4.6. Who pays for training?