October 10, 2011
An evaluation by RAND Europe of the Greek research and development (R&D) system has identified opportunities to improve economic growth and social outcomes. The findings of the report potentially have applicability beyond Greece, as a number of European states attempt to balance fiscal retrenchment with the need to achieve research excellence and stimulate growth during a time of economic upheaval.
The Greek Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs commissioned RAND Europe to undertake a rapid review of the country's R&D system to inform its plans to create a sustainable platform for research and development in Greece.
Based on the analysis RAND Europe makes several key observations:
- The Greek R&D system is in need of reform, which should begin in the near future. A number of shortcomings in the current system need to be addressed. There is a widely held view among stakeholders that the threats to the system are significant and imminent.
- In its report, RAND Europe proposes a blueprint for a tangible and realistic reform agenda. The recommendations include a set of underlying principles and seven "ideas" to be considered in putting together an agenda for reform.
"It is clear to us that developing a vibrant innovation ecosystem within Greece is critical to future economic development and growth," said Jonathan Grant, a co-author of the report.
The Greek research and development system is dependent upon public expenditure and has an unusually large proportion of funding from the European Commission. Irrespective of these efforts, Greece still has very low overall levels of public and private investment in R&D, according to the report.
There are some examples of where Greek researchers have been good at converting these low levels of investment into research outputs and, in some cases, translating this to social, health and economic benefits. However these examples are too sparse to drive R&D led growth in productivity.
RAND Europe concludes that a well-considered, clearly communicated and effective reform programme can succeed. Solutions would involve reducing fragmentation, developing critical mass, and addressing issues of enduring concern and comparative advantage.
Notes to Editor
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The report is available to read and download on the RAND website at: http://www.rand.org/pubs/documented_briefings/DB631.html
RAND Europe is a not-for-profit research organization that helps to improve policy and decision making through research and analysis. It is an independent affiliate of the RAND Corporation based in the US. Its interdisciplinary research covers a range of policy-focused programmes and method-focused groups. www.rand.org/randeurope