The public sector, very broadly defined, is a major part of the innovation system in most OECD members, either on the demand side, through public procurement, as providers of framework conditions such as the business and IP law and education, or in providing or supporting large parts of the knowledge infrastructure that enables business innovation such as standards or metrology. These roles might be roughly termed “the public sector in innovation”. Some public policy contributions to the innovation system are already covered in various ways in the measurement and analytical frameworks co-ordinated and guided through NESTI, for example in R&D and innovation surveys.
A major “missing link” however in these frameworks is “innovation in the public sector and services”. The public sector accounts for a significant share of GDP in most countries. Much of this is through transfer payments – taxing and spending - but also through the direct provisions of services to final users, eg health, education and local government. The scope for innovation to be enabled and encouraged as part of the drive to improve the quality of services or in achieving value for money is increasingly a part of public policy across nations. These initiatives need better measurement of innovation, for their design and evaluation.
The main characteristics of innovative behaviour - identifying needs, harnessing of resources – technology, organisation and skills - to deliver new or improved services, immediately or in the future are reasonably common across both commerce and the public sector. So a framework of measurement of public innovation, as far as possible analogous to established approaches to business innovation, would enable national and international comparisons and benchmarking and so underpin the development of policies towards a more innovative approach to public activities and services, which is a priority for numerous OECD member states.
There are a number of measurement initiatives that are on-going or getting underway in several countries and now is an opportune time to assemble interested policy groups and innovation measurement specialists to share ideas and approaches to the measurement challenges. NESTI has therefore joined forces with the Danish Ministry for Science, Technology and Innovation, the UK’s Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and NESTA to organise this conference.
A preliminary agenda was attached to the email invitation - we would like to invite NESTI delegates to offer short reports or presentations on activities in the areas of public sector innovation measurement that are in hand or planned in their countries.
Please send offers of presentations, by January 26, 2009, to Carter Bloch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please follow the below link to see the conference agenda;