Report Identifies New Approach to Financing Innovation

Two thirds of OECD's 30 member states offered business tax subsidies last year, according to a report published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) last week.

The "OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2007" said that the figure was up from 12 in 1995 and that governments are tending to increase those tax breaks over time.

Direct government funding accounted for an average of only 7% of spending on research and development (R&D) in 2005, compared to 11% in 1995.

The report also identified a sharp rise in international inventions, with cross-border co-operation on inventions nearly doubling as a share of total inventions between 1991-1993 and 2001-2003.

It found that foreign ownership of domestic patents increased 50% between the early 1990s and the early 2000s.