While R&D tends to be concentrated in high-income countries, innovation is pervasive. Many countries are involved in innovation without performing R&D. Innovation is a process and is measured as such, covering a broader range of activities. Innovation surveys typically cover the business sector.

Accurate data can help countries develop policies to encourage innovation by, for example, stimulating the transfer of technology and building closer links between private firms, universities and government research institutions.  

In response, the UIS is building the only global database of cross-nationally comparable indicators on innovation, based on the results of our biennial data collection, which involves countries at all income levels.

Data collection in this area is relatively new for many countries. So the UIS helps them design their own national surveys by providing training and technical assistance on international methodological frameworks and guidelines, which are developed in consultation with partners, such as Eurostat, OECD and RICYT.

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