Since the beginning of the 1990s, the OECD’s Oslo Manual has attempted to provide an international methodology for collecting and interpreting innovation data. However, the United Nations argues that innovation statistics have not been consistently and reliably gathered using these guidelines, and their Institute for Statistics (UIS) has attempted to produce comparable data for innovation.

Here, innovation is viewed as the introduction of a new or significantly improved product, process, marketing model or organizational method. To qualify, the innovation must be implemented, however it must not necessarily be a commercial success. Therefore four areas of innovation exist, which were grouped as technological (product or process) and non-technological (marketing or organizational).

Following the data collection, the following countries showed high numbers of innovative companies – as a percentage of total manufacturing companies:

innovative-manufacturing companies

European nations feature strongly on the list, with nearly half of German manufacturing companies engaged in product or marketing innovation.

However, the number of countries conducting the survey is still relatively low – for example, the United States does not appear.

The data in this article is taken from the 2013 UIS Innovation data collection.

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Author: Joe Myers is a Digital Content Producer at Formative Content.

Image: Traditional Incandescent light bulbs are seen at an apartment in Munich August 31, 2009.