Current Stance of Science and Technology in OIC Countries
Date : 12 November 2012

Research in science and technology is of great importance and key to progress towards a knowledge-based, or an innovation-driven economy. It promotes better understanding on different aspects of life and helps to improve the standard of living by creating new knowledge and technological innovation. Today, there is severe competition among countries to become the most competitive and knowledge-based economy in the world. Gaining a comparative advantage against other countries, which is of particular importance to the OIC member countries in catching-up within this competitive world of knowledge economy, depends on how well they perform in research activities.

This paper presents an overview of the current developments in the OIC member countries in the field of research and development (R&D) and science & technology (S&T). In particular, the current stance of the OIC member countries compared to the rest of the world, in terms of fundamental indicators of research and scientific development, such as human resources in R&D, R&D expenditures, high technology exports, scientific publications and patent applications, is analyzed.

Some broad policy recommendations are presented in the context of our comparative analysis. Most importantly, R&D should be stimulated through government and private sector initiatives, and coordination among OIC countries. Networking opportunities among the OIC member countries need to be facilitated through programmes such as the Framework Programme of the European Union, to support research and technological development in the Islamic world and to promote joint research initiatives among the member countries.

Additionally, joint research and investment in the emerging scientific fields and technologies, such as nanotechnology, should be initiated in a timely manner to make use of the immense benefits associated with early investment in the critical sectors. Higher education and academic research need to be supported through more government funds. There is also a dire need for promoting and enhancing patent development, particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises. Last but not least, infrastructure for information and communication technologies should be improved for a wider and effective participation of the society in general, and the youth in particular, in different components of research and development in OIC member countries.

Online Electronic Version

Current Stance of Science and Technology in OIC Countries (English)