Science, technology and innovation (STI) are key drivers of economic and social development.
The experience of successful developing countries shows that STI policies that are well integrated into national development strategies and combined with institutional and organizational changes can help raise productivity, improve firm competitiveness, support faster growth and create jobs.
To achieve this, policies need to address the specific features of innovation in developing countries.
Examples include the weight of traditional sectors in the economy, the importance of incremental and adaptative innovation, the need to identify, acquire and adapt foreign innovations, the particular role of foreign direct investment, the limited access of firms to skilled workers and to capital, weak technology-related infrastructure and inadequate intellectual property rights regimes.
UNCTAD's work in STI policy for development focuses on supporting the integration of STI in national development strategies and building-up STI policy-making capacity in developing countries.
Activities are implemented in collaboration with other UN entities, multilateral development institutions and national counterparts.
The programme of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Reviews is its main instrument in this area, which is complemented with other capacity-building programmes.
Main areas of work: