Innovation is one of four priorities in the Scottish Government’s 2015 – 2018 Economic Strategy, and is considered vital for the development of a competitive, sustainable, resilient and prosperous economy. Innovation is a vital component in improving productivity in any economy and as Paul Krugman said “Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything.”
The EU’s Innovation Scorecard classifies Scotland as an ‘Innovation Follower’ (see map). But within the overall assessment there is a much more varied picture. The biggest contrast is perhaps between the level of business and public sector R&D, with the latter being well above the EU average. Continue reading “Innovation in Action”
In the week that we celebrated World Statistics Day it seems fitting to reflect back on what I learned recently at the OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy in Mexico. The forum was the fifth of its kind over the last decade that have focussed on the need for better measures and policies for societal progress. This year, the strapline, ‘Transforming Policy, Changing Lives’ signalled a move forward from simply measuring progress, to translating these measures into policy and practice.
The conference highlighted that much work has been done in recent years to develop robust indicators and collect data on wellbeing across different countries, and there was a strong sense that wellbeing is now part of a mainstream agenda, backed by evidence and data. This is coupled with a growing international acceptance of the need to move beyond GDP as the sole measure of progress. Continue reading “Statistics, wellbeing and policy”