The Babbage Policy Network

Alistair Nolan

Senior Policy Analyst and Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD

Alistair Nolan has worked with the OECD since July 1997. He is currently a Senior Policy Analyst in the Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, where he focuses on public policies for science and innovation. He currently coordinates analytic work on AI across the OECD.

For the past two years Mr.Nolan has managed work examining the impacts of new technologies on production, leading to the 2017 book The Next Production Revolution: Implications for Governments and Business. Other recent work he led has assessed the role of intangible assets in innovation and growth, resulting in the book Supporting Investment in Knowledge Capital, Growth and Innovation. For a number of years he specialised in the assessment of all aspects of public policy towards entrepreneurship, co-authoring the OECD’s 1998 flagship publication Fostering Entrepreneurship and editing two books on business incubation: Business Incubation: International Case Studies (1999) and Good Practice in Business Incubation (2000).

He is the author of the 2003 OECD book Entrepreneurship and Local Economic Development, which reviews knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship and sets out detailed programme and policy guidance for central and local governments. Mr.Nolan also specialised in the evaluation of public policy, and is the editor and co-author of the 2005 OECD publication Evaluating Local Economic and Employment Development: How to Assess What Works in Programmes and Policy.

For three years Mr. Nolan worked in the OECD’s Directorate for Education to develop a programme to objectively measure the generic skills of the adult populations in OECD countries (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies – PIAAC). PIAAC provides a unique data set with which to examine the relationships between the stock and distribution of skills and a broad range of economic, employment and social outcomes. Mr. Nolan has also led a team of OECD analysts assessing the quality of the environment for foreign direct investment in South-East Europe. Prior to joining the OECD Mr.Nolan worked for the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), where he occupied a variety posts in research, policy and the design of technical co-operation in Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

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