The science- technology-innovation system is one that is continuously and rapidly evolving. The dramatic growth over the last twenty years in the use of science, technology and innovation (STI) indicators appears first and foremost the result of a combination between on the one hand the easiness of computerized access to an increasing number of measures of STI and on the other hand the interest in a growing number of public policy and private business circles in such indicators as might be expected in societies which increasingly use organised science and technology to achieve a wide variety of social and economic objectives and in which business competition is increasingly based on innovation.
As highlighted on the basis of 40 years of indicators work, frontiers and characteristics that were important last century may well no longer be so relevant today and indeed may even be positively misleading.
Chris Freeman and Luc Soete, Developing Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators: What we Can Learn From the Past
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