UNCTAD policy brief: More STI funding during and after COVID-19 crisis needed

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released a new policy brief that looks at the need to protect science, technology, and innovation (STI) funding during and after the COVID-19 crisis. The brief warns against retrenching STI funding after crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and promotes near and long-term investment in STI. In this regard, the brief pinpoints four key policy considerations for STI funding decisions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) Support research and development (R&D) activities as part of emergency measures and recovery packages. (b) Revisit and strengthen budgetary commitments to support R&D after the pandemic. (c) Adopt a systemic approach to policy-making that includes natural sciences, engineering, and social sciences. (d) Ensure international co-operation and co-ordinated policy responses. ‘Stability and predictability of STI funding are critical for the ability of national innovation systems to support sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,’ said UNCTAD’s director of technology and logistics Shamika N. Sirimanne.