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BELSPO - Annual Report on Science and Technology Indicators for Belgium 2013 - January 2014
Also available in French and Dutch languages.
Up to now the Belgian Science Policy Office produced three issues of Key Data. The first appeared
in 2001 in the framework of the Belgian Presidency of the European Union. The second was published
because of the OECD meeting on the internationalisation of R&D in 2005. The third issue, again, found
its origin in the triadic Belgian-Spanish-Hungarian European presidency in 2010. Each time Belgium
was positioned against a selection of countries.
Because of the growing importance of monitoring the innovative performance of Belgium (e.g. the
EU 2020 strategy; National Reform Programmes) the need for recurrent data in the innovation system
is making itself felt. Hence the challenge to produce an annual report, not only covering the most recent data, but also putting these data into a perspective figuring on the policy agenda. The annual report on science and technology indicators is, first and foremost, intended to provide a selection of information to policy makers and administrative agencies tackling issues in science policy.
Various aspects contribute to the innovative performance of countries and regions. These aspects
are united through the concept of national and regional innovation systems. However, the financial
and economic crisis of the recent past is said to have a major impact on the performance of innovation
systems. It is acknowledged by businessmen, academics and policy makers alike, that the crisis affected all actors operating in the system. Moreover, due to the idiosyncratic nature of the national innovation system, the consequences of the crisis differ across countries. To capture these consequences an array of indicators is being used, and new ones are developed continually.
The 2013 issue of the annual report highlights, wherever possible or relevant, the impact of the
economic crisis on the functioning of the national innovation system of Belgium. Thus, the idea is not
to limit ourselves to a presentation of key data depicting the innovation system, as these are readily
available on our website (www.stis.belspo.be/en/stat_stat.asp) as specialised data brochures or extensive databases. Instead, the report aims at offering a more analytical insight into the consequences of the economic crisis by focusing on a key aspect of the system that bears relevance for science policy.