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European statistics and indicators concerning innovation are calculated on the basis of data collected from companies within the framework of a harmonised survey at European level, known as the Community Innovation Survey (CIS), which in turn is based on the Oslo Manual, OECD/European Commission, 2018. The CIS survey collects data every other year, alternating with the R&D survey.
Core statistics cover innovation activities, cooperation, development, expenditures, and turnover.

Definition of innovation:

Innovation activities, as defined in the Oslo Manual which guides the European Community Innovation Survey (CIS), include all developmental, financial, and commercial activities undertaken by a firm which are intended to result in an innovation.

A business innovation is a new or improved product or business process (or combination thereof) that differs significantly from the firm's previous products or business processes, and that has been introduced on the market or brought into use by the firm.

Different types of innovation:

  • A product innovation is a new or improved good or service that differs significantly from the firm's previous goods or services, and that has been introduced on the market. Product innovations must provide significant improvements to one or more characteristics or performance specifications. This includes the addition of new functions and improvements to existing functions or user utility, such as durability, reliability, affordability, user friendliness, etc.
  • A business process innovation is a new or improved business process for one or more business functions that differs significantly from the firm's previous business processes and that has been brought into use by the firm. Business process innovations concern the different functions of a firm, e.g. production processes, distribution and logistics, marketing techniques, ICT services, administration and management techniques, and product and business process development.

These categories provide moderate comparability with the definitions of process, organisational, and marketing innovation in the third edition of the Oslo Manual.
Further details on these definitions and on the international directives that serve as a basis to measure business innovation an be found, as previously mentioned, in the OECD's OSLO Manual. As the word "manual" suggests, this publication is somewhat technical. For those interested, here is the link to the OSLO Manual (in French or in English) on the OECD website.

Older CIS data

Data from 2006-2016 are available here (Excel workbook), as these were based on the previous Oslo Manual (2005) and comparison with results from CIS 2018 onward would be difficult. This 2005 version distinguished 4 innovation types: product, process, organisational, and marketing. Product and process innovations were then often grouped together as "technological innovations".

Most recent CIS data

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