Infrastructure Development Studies » Science, Technology and Innovation

Science, technology and innovation (STI) are among most important drivers of economic and social development. Changes in productivity and competitiveness are closely associated to technological progress and innovation. Without investments in STI, results of the efforts aimed at addressing urgent societal challenges and building productive capacities in OIC member states will remain limited. Through the goal 2.10.1 of the OIC-2025 Programme of Action, the OIC aims to advance the development and utilization of science, technology and innovation for sustainable development through encouraging research, technological capabilities in all sectors, innovation and domestic technology development, by ensuring a conducive policy environment, in line with the decisions of the relevant OIC organs.

Overall innovation scores of many OIC member states are below world average. The OIC member states on average fall well behind the world average in terms of researchers per million people. Total R&D spending in the OIC member states is only about 5% of the global R&D expenditures. The low number of patent applications in many OIC member states also indicates to a lack in innovative capability. Many OIC Member States are mostly observers of global developments in the area of STI. On average, the OIC region is not innovative enough and its competition in global economy is largely based on labour costs, rather than value-added. For that reason, SESRIC research in this domain stresses the need to channel effective technical assistance and capacity building tailored to the specific needs of OIC member states, to address technology infrastructure gaps as well as capacity constraints. Moreover, increased STI cooperation within OIC area and between OIC and the other relevant regional and international stakeholders could help many OIC member states to develop research infrastructure and capacity for innovation, thus shift to a more sustainable development path.