The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), an influential organisation in policy making, published a new report on 13 September 2012 entitled “OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2012.”
The report shows an overall decrease in spending in R&D by industries in all sectors, particularly in Southern and Eastern Europe. Across the Member States it is estimated that R&D spending has fallen by as much as 4.5%. Spending by the Asian countries however, most notably China, India and Korea has continued to increase despite the crisis.
The report also shows how R&D policy itself has been changed in the Member States to have an increased focus on commercialisation of public sector research and a strong drive for new patented products.
The OECD report cautions against reducing funding for R&D and shows the link between investing in R&D and growth. It singles out health as an area where R&D is necessary to cope with growing problems such as an ageing population where ICT in particular it is suggested, can have a huge role to play in terms of controlling costs and deploying effective treatment.
This OECD report is a useful reference as it suggests that further investment in health technology can actually lead to effective control of healthcare costs and takes the approach that investment in health is not a cost but a sound investment.