With Sustainable Development Goal 9 (SDG 9), countries have pledged to “build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. In particular, Target 9.5 calls upon them to encourage innovation and substantially increase the number of researchers, as well as public and private spending on research and experimental development (R&D).
Countries have selected two indicators to monitor this target: R&D expenditure as a proportion of GDP and researchers (in full-time equivalent) per 1 million inhabitants. Both indicators are already being produced by the UIS, which has time series data going back about 50 years to track trends over time.
To better reflect the cross-cutting nature of science, technology and innovation (STI) across all of the SDGs, the UIS is working with countries and partners to develop a more comprehensive set of STI indicators. These thematic indicators will be internationally comparable so that they can be used to better target policies and measure progress towards national, regional and global development goals.