The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) has released a new information paper presenting the main results of the 2015 global innovation data collection.

Conducted every two years, the aim of the survey is to meet the growing need for comparable data on innovation in the business sector, which is an important driver of economic growth. It seeks to identify trends, common features and dissimilarities among firms in countries at different stages of development.

The 2015 survey gathered data from 71 countries, including nine in Africa, in order to produce a range of basic innovation indicators to inform policies at national and international levels.

The new report examines the innovation process in two groups of countries based on the World Bank classification of level of income: high-income and low- and middle-income. It presents the different types of innovation implemented by manufacturing firms in different size classes and examines activities that may be fostering or hampering innovation.

Results show that:

  • The most frequently implemented innovations are marketing methods;
  • The acquisition of machinery and software is a frequently performed innovation activity;
  • There are relatively few connections between manufacturing firms and higher education institutions despite the contribution these institutions make to knowledge creation and dissemination; and
  • Limited financial resources within firms are the main factor hindering innovation.

The UIS worked closely with its partners to collect the data and release the innovation database, including the African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (ASTII) Initiative by the AU/NEPAD, Eurostat (Statistical Office of the European Union), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Ibero-American Network of Science and Technology Indicators (RICYT).