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Science and Technology Indicators
2007 edition  

Update april 2008

ISTAT is the source of data for Italy (figure 10.1), the OECD and EUROSTAT are the sources for international comparisons.

Figures 10.2, 10.3, 10.4 show some specific indicators for high-technology industries (i.e. R&D intensive sectors, according to the OECD definition). Industries belonging in this category are:
- the aerospace industry,
- the telecommunications industry,
- the office machinery and computer industry,
- the pharmaceutical industry,
- the medical industry, precision and optical instruments and watches.

OECD points out that, owing to the globalisation of production process (e.g. R&D activities can be located in countries different from where the less sophisticated and more labour-intensive parts are carried out) "a high share of high-technology goods in exports does not necessarily reflect sophisticated high-technology industrial activities".

In any case, the capability of producing goods in these sectors, whose products are highly requested in the global market, measures the strength of an industrial system to stay at the forefront of technology. As a consequence, the competitiveness of companies belonging to a country is more accurately measured by analysing the trends of its market shares in the high-technology international trade. It is expected that those countries spending more on R&D will hold the best positions.

10. Trade of high-technology products

Fig. 10.1 - Italian trade in certain sets of high-technology products, 2000 and 2005
Fig. 10.2 - Share of Italian exports over total OECD exports in certain high-technology manufacturing sectors, 1981-2005
Fig. 10.3 - Exports of high-technology manufacturing industries over total exports in several OECD countries, 2004
Fig. 10.4 - Trends of exports in high-technology manufacturing industries in several OECD countries and China, 1996-2005


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