Australian Innovation Research Centre

Innovation Metrics Framework Project

Commencement Date 01 April 2009
Project Status Past

Innovation metrics, in the past, have concentrated on traditional indicators such as R&D and patents.  While these indicators are useful, they fail to capture the diversity and complexity of innovation processes, particularly in sectors where innovation does not rely heavily on R&D.  This project sought to identify gaps in the available innovation metrics for Australia.

Description

Innovation metrics, in the past, have concentrated on traditional indicators such as R&D and patents.  While these indicators are useful, they fail to capture the diversity and complexity of innovation processes, particularly in sectors where innovation does not rely heavily on R&D.  Innovation surveys, such as the innovation section of the Australian Business Characteristics Survey, provide the opportunity to construct innovation metrics that can substantially deepen our understanding of R&D and related activities and broaden our understanding of other types of innovative activities.

The purpose of this report is to fill some of the gaps in the available innovation metrics for Australia.  Two major ‘gaps’ are indicators for firm level capabilities, or how firms innovate, and indicators for knowledge flows.  A second set of gaps consist of indicators for entrepreneurship, demand for innovative goods and services, environmental innovation, the use firms make of innovation support programs, and innovation in the public sector.  For each of these seven topics, this report reviews the issues, summarizes what we know about innovation measurement, and describes how relevant indicators could be constructed for Australia.  The main findings are presented in summary tables of proposed indicators for Australia that include both simple indicators (based on responses to a single survey question) and composite indicators (based on responses to two or more survey questions).  The tables identify indicators that can be constructed from existing data and indicators that would require new survey questions or data collection exercises.

Research Output

  • Arundel, A and O’Brien, K 2009, “Innovation Metrics for Australia”, Innovation Metrics Framework Project, Report commissioned by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR), Innovation Division, Industry Analysis Branch, Canberra ACT, pp 11 – 134.

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