OECD Survey on the STI policy responses to Covid-19


Q6B. Is support of the STI system part of planned stimulus packages aimed at supporting the economy?

Updated on Response
Australia 2020-04-02 The Australian Government is working closely with laboratories to ensure that Australia maintains the capacity and capability to test for COVID-19.
Austria 2020-04-03 Besides the support measures mentioned in answer to Q3, the Austrian government plans to provide a €38 billion support package for the domestic economy. Within this package, many R&D oriented companies and research institutions are going to be supported. However, it is currently not planned to invest that money in the STI system.
Brazil 2020-04-03 Yes. As explained above (Q.3), the Federal Government has released R$ 3.4 billion to tackle the challenges of the pandemic, of which R$ 3 billion will be directed to social benefits. On what concerns STI, R$100 million have already being authorized to be invested in research and innovation.
Other federal economic stimulus packages might also help indirectly the STI system, since they are aimed at provided liquidity to the financial sector (banks) in order to facilitate credit to small and medium enterprises and alleviating tax obligations.
Canada 2020-05-08 See answers to question on new STI policy measures taken in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Costa Rica 2020-05-05 The STI system is planning to launch funds oriented to innovations for SMEs as a part of stimulus packages aimed at supporting the economy.
Czech Republic 2020-05-18 At national level, all described activities in responses to previous questions support the STI system and thus contribute to the economy recovery and development. To briefly summarize, among such activities are those of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, CzechInvest, Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank and/or Technology Agency of the Czech Republic.
Estonia 2020-03-30 Government support in the form of financial instruments (guarantees and warranties) for enterprises has been declared and is being implemented, as well as support for the workforce (e.g. through withholding taxes and providing direct wage support) – it is expected to support start-up businesses, which are both weakly capitalised and have wages as a relatively high share of costs.

Stimulus packages will be specifically designed to support not only existing enterprises and economic structures, but also to bring along small behavioural changes in entrepreneurial activity towards investments in knowledge-based capital, and future re-structuration and growth.
European Union 2020-06-12 Research and innovation (R&I) play an essential role in the response to the Covid-19 outbreak. They are also critical levers to ensure a sustainable and inclusive recovery, while boosting the resilience of our production sectors, the competitiveness of our economies and the transformation of our socio-economic systems. Research and innovation actions are an essential part of the coordinated EU response to the public health threat of Covid-19. They channel public and private investments and align funding and investment streams to underpin the Recovery. In the current context, we need science-driven solutions, including better scientific understanding of the virus as well as the development of vaccines, treatments and diagnostics. R&I also provides the technologies that allow for safer and faster tracking of the virus. In global emergencies, such as the Covid19 pandemic, it is essential to remove all obstacles to the free flow of data, researchers and ideas. Full, timely and fair access to scientific information and research results during crises for researchers, journalists, medical staff and all citizens is of outmost importance for accurate and affordable science-based responses. Moreover, openly accessible, machine-readable, interoperable data is needed to follow the spread of the epidemic, and forecast its rapid evolution. Key datasets include clinical, epidemiological and laboratory data. It is of crucial importance to invest in stronger and more resilient national health systems, capable of rapid and integrated responses drawing on the latest scientific discoveries, with equal access across the EU.
Finland 2020-05-21 Answers provided in question 3 are relevant here as well.

The Government has agreed on 20 March a comprehensive package to safeguard jobs and livelihoods and ease the economic pressure on businesses. According to the Government’s estimate, the overall scale of the measures will be approximately EUR 15 billion. See https://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/article/-/a....
France 2020-05-25 The “Structuring Projects for Competitiveness” (PSPC) action of the Investments for the Future Investment Program (PIA) is open to companies of all sizes and from all economic sectors, and involves structured collaboration between economic and academic players. This action is coordinated by BPI France. A PSPC project dedicated to Covid-19 is under consideration (to date, March 26).
Germany 2020-09-14 Initial wave of stabilization measures
The Federal Government has been developing and implementing a variety of measures of historic dimensions to stabilize the economy. In the initial wave of economic stabilization measures and short-term aid in the first two quarters of 2020, the German government sought to ease liquidity shortages and help companies of all sizes and sectors to secure their immediate survival, prevent layoffs, and protect assets. While these measures did not specifically target German STI systems, the broad and swift implementation of measures have been playing a crucial role in maintaining the foundations of STI in Germany as they contribute to keeping experienced teams together, avoiding layoffs of highly qualified workers, and securing intellectual and physical assets. All of these elements are key in sustaining innovation and R&D in the future.

Economic Stimulus Package June 2020
In June 2020, the German Cabinet has adopted a broad, medium-term economic stimulus package worth 130 billion € that includes a temporary cut in value added tax, financial support for parents, and tax relief for companies to ensure liquidity. Germany considers research and innovation to be of vital importance for economic recovery and sustainability, which is why these areas play a crucial role in the package. To this aim, the programme is designed to revive the economy while simultaneously equipping Germany for the future through structural changes that will carry on well into the next decade.

Beyond its socioeconomic goals, the package is specifically geared towards research and measures promoting the research and development of seminal technologies as well as to mitigate climate change. A total of 50 billion € under the programme is earmarked for a package for the future. It includes tax breaks for research into the development of quantum computing and artificial intelligence. Stepping up the use of hydrogen power and promoting electric mobility are also part of the package.

The fiscal measures aimed at the private sector are designed to enable companies to continue investments in research and development even during the crisis. To this end, the tax losses in 2020 and 2021 that may be offset against profits in previous years will be raised to 5 Mio. € per year. Furthermore, the assessment basis for fiscal research promotion is to be doubled to an annual total of 4 Mio. € per company until the end of 2025.

In order to protect innovative potential, the Federal Government is also assisting start-ups. Existing programmes are to be supplemented and additional funding is to be made available for public venture capital investors. Funds of up to 2 billion € have been earmarked to this end.

Sub-federal measures
Due to the federal nature of Germany's political system, there are also a number of initiatives and measures below the federal level, on the level of the German Länder, that also affect Germany’s STI systems on a regional scale. To bolster the regional economy, most Länder have set up supplementary support programmes. These include broader plans such as “Soforthilfe Corona” plans to secure SME financing during the crisis, as well as more specific measures, such as Hamburg’s “HCS InnoStartup” which especially targets innovative startups.

Greece 2020-05-07 No specific provisions have been envisaged so far.
Ireland 2020-03-30 Not at present.
Israel 2020-03-30 Yes
Italy 2020-03-29 The “Cura Italia” Decree (Decree Law March 17, 2020, n. 18) regarding measures to strengthen the National Health Service and economic support for families, workers and businesses during the COVID-19 emergency, has made 400 million Euros available to the Ministry of Economic Development also to support companies to invest in R&D and innovation projects.
Japan 2020-03-29 The ongoing support for research and development on COVID -19 is being conducted as a measure against infection.
Korea 2020-03-28 In order to recover from the economic damage caused by COVID-19, Korea has established an additional budget of 11.73 trillion KRW, of which 71.5 billion KRW has been budgeted for R&D. Considering the existing emergency response research, the total amount for COVID-19 related R&D is 10.9 billion KRW. Emergency response research is tasked to respond to various unexpected disaster and safety problems. These COVID-19 emergency response research includes rapid diagnosis, re-creation of therapeutics, analysis of unique characteristics of COVID-19, and acquisition of research resources and prediction of spread.
Lithuania 2020-03-30 We cannot answer
Mexico 2020-03-29 Yes, the government is aware of the importance on research of STI. Consequently, the National Council for Science and Technology is tasked to prepare an agenda on the research plan for the next years. There is also a National Plan for Development that leverages science, technology and innovation for socio-economic development. The priority set for STI is on helping people (health, education, food security, etc.) and caring for the environment.
Netherlands 2020-04-01 The stimulus package is aimed primarily at sectors in the economy targeted most - hotels, restaurants, café's, and other freelancers who are no longer able to do their work. Given that it is hard for some young entrepreneurs - especially young innovative start-ups - to show the 'economic damage' done by them. It is currently being debated how and if they can be helped.
New Zealand 2020-03-30 Currently no, beyond those non-specific measures that might apply to scientists as members of the general population (for example, NZ has legislated for temporary limitations on rent increases and a ban on evictions).
Norway 2020-04-30 Additional responses have been new funding from the Ministries of Fisheries and Industry and Oil and Energy to increase the level of support to innovation projects that have recently been initiated. This concerns several hundred companies across the country and across sectors. Further, a call for proposals has been published for business innovation projects.

Some redistribution of funds will be carried out, notably to better support research on economic consequences of the Corona crisis and the health industry. Further redistribution of existing funds is expected.

To better adapt to current circumstances, standard deadlines have been abolished so that companies can apply on a continuous basis. The state aid rules will be more effectively applied, and funding decisions will be done throughout 2020. This also implies a significant renewal of internal procedures in the Research Council of Norway to accommodate larger funding streams and a need for efficiency. Previously agreed timelines for projects may be adapted, allowing for delays or speeding up as appropriate. Requirements for cash contributions may be abandoned to adapt to the tight liquidity situation experienced by many companies.

Upon request from The Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the Research Council of Norway has proposed measures to alleviate the negative consequences for industry and society. This includes a range measures in support of the STI system. The suggested measures are currently being reviewed.
Portugal 2020-06-29 A wide set of measures have been announced in response to the expect slump of the economy and ensuing recession. The novel characteristics of the current crisis, that is almost stopping the whole economy, is, nevertheless, hitting different economic sectors with different degrees. Some thriving sectors in Portugal, such as tourism and restaurants, have come to a sudden standstill, while others have been able to maintain a certain level of economic activity. The initial package of measures, beyond the strictly public health measures, have focused on providing financial support to business firms, through a variety of measures, including some directed to the most hit sectors mentioned above, as well as measures aimed to support employment, workers and families. While measures have not been aimed specifically at the STI system, beyond those referred to above, aimed at supporting STI system's contribution to the response to the COVID-19 crisis, the ongoing process of linking of SMEs, start-ups and the research system with larger corporations in broader collaborative initiatives, promoting open innovation and new spaces of co-creation in order to build stronger knowledge and distributed innovation, is expected to have impacts on the economy and on the STI systems beyond the short-term. Additional measures are expected to be developed throughout the response to the crisis and its different stages.
All initiatives are listed at:
COVID-19 – Business Support Measures: Business Enterprises R&D – COVID-19:
Productive Innovation Incentive System (ministerial ordinance/Portaria nº 95/2020), 18/04/20209)
Incentive System for R&D and Investment in Testing an Optimization Infrastructures (upscaling) in the context of COVID-19 (ministerial ordinance/Portaria nº 96/2020), 18/04/2020) https://dre.pt/application/conteudo/1319...

Russian Federation 2020-09-10 Policy measures to support SMEs and entrepreneurs have been introduced by the President of Russia on 25 March, 2020:
- SMEs are granted a deferral of all taxes, except VAT, for six months. Micro-enterprises will be given a deferment of insurance payments.
- The size of insurance payments for employees of SMEs should be reduced from 30% to 15% (this will not affect salaries at or below the minimum wage).
- Loans to individual entrepreneurs will be prolonged.
- SMEs affected by the crisis should receive a loan extension of six months.
- A six-month moratorium on filing bankruptcy claims by companies and collecting debts and fines.
(Source: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/...).

There is an ongoing discussion on the measures for continuous support of the ongoing research projects and grant renewals. No regulation has been established yet.
South Africa 2020-03-29 Comprehensive measures to support small, medium, and micro enterprises during this time will also be available to support qualifying actors in the South African National System of Innovation. Our measures specifically targeting the STI system will be communicated in due course.
Spain 2020-04-01 The Government has started to approve stimulus packages.

The first one was included in the Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of 17 March, on extraordinary urgent measures to deal with the economic and social impact of the new coronavirus. The main focus of this first package has been proving loans and soft credit lines for business and reducing the effect of economic and social damage of the containment strategy adopted. As reported in previous questions specific EUR 30 million new R&D funding was approved and up to 500 million € soft loans for innovation companies was approved for carry on related COVID19 projects.

New stimulus packages are under study.

The main initiatives developed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation are described in Q1A.
Sweden 2020-03-28 Too early to answer
Switzerland 2020-05-20 The Federal Council is currently doing everything to coordinate the various activities and players in the health, research and innovation sector as well as to support the economy to help overcome the corona crisis.

Support to the economy. On 13 and 20 March 2020, the Federal Council approved a comprehensive package of measures totaling over CHF 40 billion to cushion the economic consequences of the spread of the coronavirus. The measures include, among others:
- Liquidity support for companies
- Extension and simplification of the instrument of short-time work compensation
- Compensation for loss of earnings for self-employed persons.

Latest information can be found here:

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO: www.seco.admin.ch/seco/de/home/Arbeit/ne...

Federal Office of Public Health FOPH: www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten...

State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI: www.sbfi.admin.ch/sbfi/en/home.html

Thailand 2020-03-31 This issue has not been discussed at this stage.
Turkey 2020-04-10 The stimulus package for supporting the economy do not have an RDI pillar. However, the budget for public support for RDI has mostly been allocated to Covid-19 RDI activities.
United Kingdom 2020-03-31 On 11 March, the Chancellor of the Exchequer set out plans in his annual Budget to increase public R&D investment to £22 billion per year by 2024-25. The government will invest that money in the people, ideas and industries that will cement the UK’s world-leading position in science and technologies ranging from nuclear fusion to electric vehicles and life sciences. This landmark investment is the largest and fastest ever expansion in support of researchers and innovative businesses in the UK, taking direct support for R&D to 0.8% of GDP and placing the UK among the top quarter of OECD nations (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...).
In his speech, he said this was part of making the right long-term decisions for the UK’s economic security and prosperity. In the short-term, he said that next year funding will grow by 15%, the fastest year-on-year growth on record (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/b...).