Innovation in science, technology and industry

Measuring Innovation: A New Perspective


Pages: 125
ISBN: 978-92-64-05946-7
Published May 2010



This volume builds on 50 years of indicator development by OECD and goes beyond R&D to describe the broader context in which innovation occurs.

It includes experimental indicators that provide insight into new areas of policy interest, and highlights measurement gaps to propose directions for advancing the measurement agenda.


Measuring Innovation: A New Perspective begins by describing innovation today. It looks at what is driving innovation in firms, and how the scientific and research landscape is being reconfigured by convergence, interdisciplinarity and the new geography of innovation hot spots. It presents broader measures of innovation, for example using new indicators of investment in intangible assets and trademarks. 

Human capital is the basic input of innovation, and a series of indicators looks at how well education systems are contributing to the knowledge and research bases. Further series examine how firms transform skills and knowledge, and shed light on the different roles of public and private investment in fostering innovation and reaping its rewards, with concrete examples from major global challenges such as health and climate change.

Measuring Innovation is a major step towards evidence-based innovation policy making. It complements traditional “positioning”-type indicators with ones that show how innovation is, or could be, linked to policy.  It also recognises that much more remains to be done, and points to the  measurement challenges statisticians, researchers and policy makers alike need to address.

This book includes StatLinks under each statistical graph and table, providing provides acces to an Excel® file containing the underlying statistical data.

An online version of this publication including access to the data files used can be found on the OECD Innovation Strategy website.

Table of contents

Acronyms and abbreviations

Introduction: Towards a Measurement Agenda for Innovation

Chapter 1. Innovation Today
Sources of growth | New sources of growth | Intangible assets | Innovation beyond R&D | Protection of innovation | Trademarks | Mixed modes of innovation | Collaboration in innovation | Mapping hot research areas | Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research | New players in research | Scientific collaboration | Clusters of knowledge | Innovation hotspots | Science for environmental innovation | Technological innovation for climate change | Transfers of environmental technologies

Chapter 2. Empowering People to Innovate

Basic scientific skills | Tertiary education | Doctorate holders | Skills mismatch | International mobility | Entrepreneurial talent | Gap page: Innovative workplace and skills for innovation | Consumers’ demand for innovation

Chapter 3. Unleashing Innovation in Firms

Entry and exit | Mobilising private funding | Policy environment | Young and innovative firms

Chapter 4. Investing in Innovation

Firms investing in R&D | Firms investing in innovation | Government funding R&D | Higher education and basic research | Information and communication technologies | Firms and smart infrastructure | Governments and smart infrastructure | Gap page: Measuring innovation in the public sector | Gap page: Multilevel governance of innovation

Chapter 5. Reaping Returns from Innovation

Scientific collaboration | Science and industry linkages | Knowledge clusters | Commercialisation | Knowledge circulation

Chapter 6. Addressing Global Challenges

Health | Climate change | Other environmental challenges

How to order this publication

Readers can access the book choosing from the following options:

  • Purchase the complete pdf e-book and the print edition on the OECD Online Bookshop.
  • Subscribers and readers at subscribing institutions can access this title on the OECD iLibrary.
  • Order from your local distributor.
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