Applying a New Methodology to Measure Investment in R&D and Science and Technology Activities: The Case of Colombia

  • Alexander Cotte Poveda
  • Jorge Andrade Parra
  • Clara Inés Pardo Martínez


Research and development (R&D), especially in industry and technology, is a crucial component of innovation, productivity and effectiveness, as well as the generation of new competitive advantages that are reflected in the whole economy of a country. In this context and with the aim of improving the measurement of R&D, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development updated the Frascati Manual in 2015 to provide the main, globally applicable guidelines for national statistical offices and policy-makers to analyze trends and allow for international comparisons of science, technology and innovation. In developing countries, it is particularly important to determine different strategies to guarantee adequate R&D to inform the creation of policies and instruments to effectively promote knowledge and generate technological solutions to local problems. This chapter describes the development and application of the Frascati Manual (2015) in Colombia to measure investments in R&D and other scientific, technological and innovation activities in Colombia from the perspective of the requirements of the manual for government, higher education, business enterprises, the health sector and private non-profit institutions with an update for the entire 2000–2017 period. The results indicate that the new guidelines for quantifying investments in R&D guarantee greater reliability through the use of mixed methods involving administrative registers or surveys and control mechanisms with budget analysis. Moreover, it is important to analyze differences among sectors to adequately determine the specific factors related to scientific, technological and innovation activities with the aim of establishing the investments and expenditures in science, technology and innovation. During the period of study, Colombia maintained constant investment with a slight increase in the last year that was mainly due to found royalties. The resulting indicators of expenditure in R&D and other scientific, technological and innovation activities can be used to monitor and evaluate relevant policies that have been implemented, as well as to make international comparisons.


Expenditure Research and Development Frascati Manual Colombia 


  1. Aksnes, D., Sivertsen, G., Leeuwen, D., & Wendt, K. (2017). Measuring the Productivity of National R&D Systems: Challenges in Cross-national Comparisons of R&D Input and Publication Output Indicators. Science and Public Policy, 44, 246–258.Google Scholar
  2. Arrow, K. (1962). Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention. In Universities-National Bureau Committee for Economic Research, Committee on Economic Growth of the Social Science Research Council (Ed.), The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bell, M., & Albu, M. (1999). Knowledge Systems and Technological Dynamism in Industrial Clusters in Developing Countries. World Development, 27, 1715–1734.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bozeman, B., & Sarewitz, D. (2011). Public Value Mapping and Science Policy Evaluation. Minerva, 49, 1–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cohen, W., & Levinthal, D. (1990). Absorptive Capacity: A New Perspective on Learning and Innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35, 128–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chou, Y. K. (2002). The Australian Growth Experience (1960–2000), R&D Based, Human Capital-based or Just Steady State Growth? Research Paper No. 855. Department of Economics, University of Melbourne.Google Scholar
  7. Falk, M. (2007). R&D Spending in the High-tech Sector and Economic Growth. Research in Economics, 61, 140–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. G7 Academies of Science. (2017). New Economic Growth: The Role of Science, Technology, Innovation and Infrastructure. G7 Academies’ Joint Statements 2017. Retrieved from
  9. Gault, F. (2018). Defining and Measuring Innovation in All Sectors of the Economy. Research Policy, 47, 617–622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gisselquist, D., & van der Meer, C. (2001). Regulations for Seed and Fertilizer Markets: A Good Policy Guide for Policy Makers (Rural Development Working Paper No. 22817). Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  11. Goel, R. K., Payne, J. E., & Ram, R. (2008). R&D Expenditures and U.S. Economic Growth: A Disaggregated Approach. Journal of Policy Modeling, 30, 237–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Grossmann, V. (2007). How to Promote R&D-based Growth? Public Education Expenditure on Scientists and Engineers Versus R&D Subsidies. Journal of Macroeconomics, 29, 891–911.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hausmann, R., & Hidalgo, C. (2011). The Network Structure of Economic Output. Journal of Economic Growth, 16, 309–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jin, J. C. (2009). Economic Research and Economic Growth: Evidence from East Asian Economies. Journal of Asian Economics, 20, 150–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jones, C. I. (2002). Sources of U.S. Economic Growth in a World of Ideas. The American Economic Review, 92, 220–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kwack, S. U., & Lee, Y. S. (2006). Analyzing the Korea’s Growth Experience: The Application of R&D and Human Capital Based Growth Models with Demography. Journal of Asian Economics, 17, 818–831.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Naseem, A., Spielman, D., & Were, S. (2010). Private-Sector Investment in R&D: A Review of Policy Options to Promote its Growth in Developing-Country Agriculture. Agribusiness, 26(1), 143–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. OCyT. (2018). Indicators of Science and Technology Colombia. Bogotá, Colombia.Google Scholar
  19. Salimi, N., & Rezaei, J. (2018). Evaluating Firms’ R & D Performance Using Best Worst Method. Evaluation and Program Planning, 66, 145–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Smith, K. (2000). Innovation as a Systemic Phenomenon: Rethinking the Role of Policy. Enterprise and Innovation Management Studies, 1, 73–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sterlacchini, A. (2008). R&D, Higher Education and Regional Growth: Uneven Linkages Among European Regions. Research Policy, 37, 1096–1107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Cotte Poveda
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jorge Andrade Parra
    • 2
  • Clara Inés Pardo Martínez
    • 3
  1. 1.Universidad Santo TomásBogotáColombia
  2. 2.Colombian Observatory of Science and Technology (OCyT)BogotáColombia
  3. 3.School of ManagementUniversidad del RosarioBogotáColombia

Personalised recommendations