Subject to available funding, ABS plans to develop an Innovation survey in respect of 2003. The proposed survey would be compatible with OECD/Eurostat guidelines ("Oslo Manual"), although it would probably also include non-technological (organisational and managerial) innovation.
Current state of innovation-related statistics
Although much of the material described in the Update bears on innovation in one way or another, conspicuously absent from the data presently available for Australia are recent measures of innovation outputs (i.e. new products and processes that are being implemented). Such "output" data provide an informative and direct way to measure the degree to which Australia is innovating and can be obtained through industry-wide business surveys. The ABS has not conducted such a survey since 1996-97.
What is an "innovation survey" and what information can it provide?
An innovation survey is a survey of businesses which ascertains what proportion and types of business are innovating (i.e. introducing new products and processes), what types of innovations are occurring and what impact they are having on the output and productivity of the businesses concerned.
Other issues which can be addressed include:
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- the costs of innovation (and their breakdown into R&D and other components),
- the extent of linkages between firms and research institutions,
- the links between technological innovation and organisational change (including new ICT), and
- the use (or non-use) of relevant government programs.