This paper discusses how countries’ vision for science, technology and innovation (STI) priorities has evolved through COVID-19. The analysis was conducted on a sample of 171 STI strategy documents from 11 countries that were released between 2013 and 2021. Depending on the context, these documents seek to build consensus, manage actors, communicate or signal directions for policy, or achieve internal organisational motives. Most of the documents that have emerged since the COVID-19 crisis focus on a dominant ambitious societal goal and specific technologies to implement that goal. For example, environmental sustainability is a shared goal across different countries’ STI strategies, but its specific meaning differs. Most countries’ STI strategies also identify digitalisation as an important tool to achieve other socio-economic goals. Inclusivity is prominent in agendas reflecting country-specific circumstance. Improving resilience is a shared priority and increased in prominence with the COVID-19 experience.