Developing science, technology and innovation indicators: What we can learn from the past
The science-technology-innovation system is one that is continuously and rapidly evolving. The dramatic growth over the last 20 years in the use of science, technology and innovation (STI) indicators appears first and foremost to be the result of a combination of, on the one hand, the ease of computerized access to an increasing number of measures of STI and, on the other hand, the interest in a growing number of public policy and private business circles in such indicators. Such growing interest might be expected in societies that increasingly use organised science and technology to achieve a wide variety of social and economic objectives and in which business competition is increasingly based on innovation. On the basis of 40 years of indicators work, we argue that frontiers and characteristics of STI indicators that were important last century may no longer be so relevant today and indeed may even be positively misleading.
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