Received 11.02.2022. Revised 17.02.2022. Accepted 01.03.2022.
Abstract. The COVID 19 pandemic, which dragged on for more than two years, led to large-scale shifts in the major sectors of the world economy and affected the S&T sphere. The paper considers the main factors that have influenced innovative development, the choice of S&T priorities by major countries and corporations, as well as the crisis phenomena aggravated in the S&T sphere. It shows the growth of research and development costs in a narrow group of corporations in the biopharmaceutical and information and communication sectors with stagnating costs in other sectors, the large-scale growth of publication activity, the uneven growth of tax incentives from the states, the importance of “open innovations” in modern science. It is noted that the intensity of researches and developments all over the world grew in 2020–2021 even in those companies where the total expenses on science and innovations decreased, thus the consequences of the crisis will be appreciable up to the end of the current decade. Legislative innovations in the technological sphere in the USA were especially noted, comparative estimations with innovative development of China were carried out, and the prospects of technological confrontation between the two countries were outlined. The questions of tax stimulation of innovative activity and ambiguity of definition of expenses on research and development in corporations of information-communication industry were also considered. The trends in the most science-intensive industry, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, which occupies the first place in the world both in terms of spending on science and innovation, and the number of highly qualified jobs, are considered separately. The processes holding back the industry that could not be overcome during the pandemic are shown. Given the fundamental importance of patenting (a strict intellectual property control regime), initiatives to relinquish some of the rights to medicines (including vaccines) associated with the coronavirus and weaken the intellectual property protection regime in the next decade look unpromising. By the end of 2022, we should expect a decline in investor interest in vaccines and a return to the traditional focus of industry companies on rare diseases and the development of drugs against them.
Keywords: innovation processes, science funding, high-tech industries, science and innovation, COVID 19
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