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Robots and unicorns star in proposed industrial metrics

The EU’s planned industrial policy strategy could include measures of R&D investment and impact, such as how many robots are used in industry and the number of companies with a value of at least a billion dollars, known as unicorns.

Possible research and innovation metrics for the strategy, which was outlined by the European Commission in September last year, were published in a paper on 16 April. They were suggested by politicians and civil servants working on the Estonian, Bulgarian and Austrian presidencies of the European Council, which began in July 2017 and run to the end of this year.

Other research and innovation metrics suggested in the text include the proportion of researchers in the workforce and the number of patent applications per billion euros of GDP. Broader metrics include the proportion of graduates in science, mathematics, computing, engineering, manufacturing and construction subjects, and the proportion of adults undertaking some form of study.

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