US innovation data — finally

Apropos of innovation metrics (see previous posting), the US is now beginning to collect innovation data as part of the NSF’s Business R&D and Innovation Survey — formerly known as the Survey of Industrial Research and Development. The survey (which started this year) asks questions similar to the European Community Innovation Survey and the OECD Oslo Manual — something that I have been advocating for years.

The new questions include whether the company introduced any of the following during the three-year period of 2006 to 2008:

New or significantly improved goods (excluding the simple resale of new goods purchased from others and changes of a solely aesthetic nature)
New or significantly improved services
New or significantly improved methods of manufacturing or producing goods or services
New or significantly improved logistics, delivery, or distribution methods for your inputs, goods, or services
New or significantly improved support activities for your processes, such as maintenance systems or operations for purchasing, accounting, or computing

It also asks new questions on patent licensing revenue.

Unfortunately, the 2009 data will not be available until spring since it is a new series of questions. In the following years, the data will be available in January with the publication of NSF’s Science and Engineering Indicators.

Next step, in my mind, is to tackle the question of “hidden innovation” – as mentioned in the previous posting. It will be interesting to see if we can use the new data to conduct a similar type of analysis.

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