for creation but lacks trained and skilled people to assimilate and use the knowledge.
The gaps indicated in the star diagram between the way key functions are performed and best practice will point the way for “leapfrogging ” to state of the art knowledge services. When these gaps are reduced, the knowledge, support, and technical services will be available to assist and encourage industry and the public sector to select technologies that will avoid costly stages of development of the energy, environmental, transport, and communications sectors, to the competitive benefit of the country.
The knowledge assessment reports can make use of similar reports made by other organizations and performed with different goals in mind. Knowledge assessment will draw upon these others for data and attempt to go beyond them in the area of knowledge practice.
These reviews are intended to allow the countries concerned to appraise the political, economic and structural aspects of the role of scientific and technological research and to gather information on science and technology policies as an instrument of government. The procedure involves a general report prepared by OECD with the assistance of the country. In many cases, the “National System of Innovation” is assessed. Then a team of Examiners visits and meets with officials and stakeholders. At a final review meeting, an OECD committee confronts and challenges officials to propose remedies.
This new concept, used by OECD and others, emphasizes the innovation process, laboratories, firms and farms, and the interactions among them. NSI is a network of institutions, private and public, whose actions initiate, import, modify and diffuse new technologies. Reports are prepared by task forces combining local experts with international specialists following a template of Functions of a National System of Innovation which inspired the one adopted here for the National Knowledge System. Stakeholders, principal science and technology institutions, and other participating bodies are identified and their roles described and charted following a prescribed format.
Every two years, the National Science Foundation publishes a report to the Congress and the President of the United States on the status of science and technology in the country and the world. The report contains indicators on inputs and investments in science and technology activities, outputs, results, facilities and infrastructure, linkages with other countries, and international comparisons. Included are specialized data bases that would be of use for knowledge assessment studies, for example, foreign science and technology investments and capabilities and foreign students in the U.S. from different countries and their fields of study. The data on foreign sources of U.S. patents will also be useful.
A technique combining statistical data with expert views was developed by a research group at Georgia Tech with support from NSF and used in the Science and Engineering Indicators report on Asia's New High Tech Competitors. 5 The method relies on four input indicators, called national orientation, socioeconomic infrastructure, technological infrastructure, and productive capacity, and three output indicators, called technological standing, technological emphasis, and rate of technological change, which are derived from a combination of statistical indicators and responses to a set of questionnaires sent by mail to a group of experts. This approach is promising for application to knowledge assessment, particularly if World Bank staff participated actively in the qualitative surveys.
The IMD, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, is a leading international management development institute. Each year it publishes a report which ranks countries according to an index designed to measure their “ability to create added value and increase national wealth by managing assets and processes, attractiveness and aggressiveness, globality and proximity, and by integrating these relationships into an economic and social model.” For example, the listing for 1996 show the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan as the first four; Taiwan, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Ireland, and Malaysia numbers 19-24; and Brazil, India, Hungary, Greece, Indonesia, and Mexico in the 38-43 positions. Russia is the last rated, number 47.
National Science Foundation, Asia's New High-Tech Competitors, NSF 95-309, (Washington, DC. 1995). See also Roessner, J. David, Alan L. Porter, Nils Newman, and David Cauffile, “Implementation and Further Analysis of Indicators of Technology-based Competitiveness. ” Technology Policy and Assessment Center, Georgia Institute of Technology, March 1995, and National Science Foundation, Human Resources for Science and Technology: the Asian Region. NSF 93-303 (Washington, DC. 1993).