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BARRIERS TO INNOVATION
The proportion of all businesses that reported any barriers to innovation was 46%. Innovation-active businesses (62%) were far more likely to report barriers to undertaking innovative activity than non innovation-active businesses (37%).
Over one third of innovation-active businesses (34%) and one fifth of non innovation-active businesses (20%) cited a Lack of skilled persons in any location as a factor hampering innovation. Almost one quarter (24%) of innovating businesses reported a Lack of access to additional funds as a factor hampering innovation. Cost related barriers were seen by 18% of innovation-active businesses and 7% of non innovation-active businesses as hampering innovation.
Innovation-active businesses with 0-4 persons and those with 200 or more persons employed were more likely to report no barriers to undertaking innovation (43% and 47% respectively) than businesses in the other two employment size ranges. Uncertain demand for new goods or services was more commonly reported by smaller businesses as an impediment to undertaking innovative activity.
For every employment size range, a Lack of skilled persons in any location was the most commonly recorded barrier to undertaking innovative activity. However, for innovation-active businesses with 0-4 persons employed, a Lack of skilled persons in any location (27%) was only slightly higher than Lack of access to additional funds (26%) as a significant barrier. For the other employment size ranges, the proportion of businesses reporting Lack of access to additional funds was much lower than Lack of skilled persons. Government regulations or compliance as a factor hampering innovation was reported by 13% of innovation-active businesses and was more commonly reported by businesses with 5-19 persons and 20-199 persons employed (both at 16%) than those with 0-4 persons (9%) and 200 or more persons (13%) employed.
By industry, the highest proportions of innovation-active businesses reporting no barriers to undertaking innovation were in Mining (47%) and Financial and Insurance Services (46%). Lack of access to additional funds as an impediment to innovation was reported by almost 40% of businesses in the Information Media and Telecommunications industry. This industry along with Transport, Postal and Warehousing (at 21% and 20% respectively) also reported the highest proportions for Government regulations or compliance as a factor hampering innovative activity. However, for the majority of industries, Lack of skilled staff in any location was the most commonly reported barrier to innovation, ranging from 25% for innovation-active businesses in Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services to 44% for Administrative and Support Services.
PROPORTION OF INNOVATION-ACTIVE BUSINESSES WHICH REPORTED A LACK OF SKILLED PERSONS, AS A BARRIER TO INNOVATION, 2006-07
Innovation-active businesses within the Transport, Postal and Warehousing industry were almost twice as likely to report Lack of skilled persons within the labour market (26%) as a barrier to innovation than Lack of skilled persons within the business (14%). Innovation-active businesses in the Information Media and Telecommunications and Manufacturing industries reported similar results for both types of skills shortages.