The innovation capacity of a country is not only determined by its level of research and development, but also by its capacity to convert knowledge into new products, processes, organisational structures, which in turn generate economic growth. The innovation performance is also influenced by the socio-economic profile of the country, by the business environment, the degree of entrepreneurship, the access to finance…
Human resources, and in particular R&D personnel, are at the heart of the innovation process. In a context of rapid technological change, the role of education and lifelong learning is very important to develop skills for innovation.
Highly-skilled workers, more particularly science and engineering graduates and doctorate holders are crucial for the development of new knowledge, technologies, and innovation. Public spending on education gives an indication of the government's commitment in this field.
R&D personnel includes researchers, but also technicians performing scientific and technical tasks, usually under the supervision of researchers, and other supporting staff (craftsmen, secretarial, and clerical staff) participating in R&D projects.