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The Need to Protect Science, Technology and Innovation Funding During and After the COVID-19 Crisis



The COVID-19 outbreak has infected more than 2,950,000 people and killed more than 202,000 

worldwide to this date1). While the overall economic impact of this outbreak is still unfolding, there 

are strong indications that it will cause the largest economic downturn since the 2008 financial crisis. 


This brief makes a case for protecting science, technology and innovation budgets during the 

COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath, based on the fact that continued investments in STI will be critical to 

the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Even though developing countries as 

a group have recorded continued growth in R&D expenditure over recent years, the absolute levels 

remain small and their STI capabilities limited. It is therefore crucial for developing countries to reinforce 

their commitments to protect investment in STI and to design recovery packages that leverage technology 

and innovation for sustainable development. 



COVID-19, R&D expenditure, policy making