Business innovation statistics and indicators


The OECD has played a key role in the development of international guidelines for surveys of business innovation (Oslo Manual) and the design of indicators constructed with data from such surveys. In addition to developing methodological guidance, the OECD also carries out analytical studies using innovation-related indicators and microdata. This work is guided by the OECD Working Party of National Experts on Science & Technology Indicators (NESTI).

The OECD Innovation Indicators database is a compendium of statistics about the innovation activities and outcomes of firms across OECD member countries and partner economies. The April 2022 data release is the first edition of the Innovation Indicators that:

  • Reports indicators based on data collected under the guidelines of the OECD/Eurostat Oslo Manual 2018.
  • Incorporates a module of core innovation indicators at the industry level, describing how innovation varies not only across countries but also across industries.



Innovation indicators  |   Guidelines and definitions  |  Methodology  |  Related links



Innovation indicators

Download the indicators:  2021 (.zip) | 2019 (.zip)|  2017 (.xls) |  2015 (.xls)  |  2013 (.xls)

 2021 edition highlights (pdf)









 Guidelines and definitions


The international collection and reporting of business innovation statistics is guided by the recommendations provided in the OECD/Eurostat Oslo Manual. The manual provides common concepts, definitions and classifications for measurement. The 2018 edition of the Oslo Manual identifies two types of innovation for firms:

  • Product innovation: a new or improved good or service that differs significantly from the firm’s previous goods or services and that has been introduced on the market. This includes significant improvements to one or more characteristics or performance specifications, such as quality, technical specifications, user friendliness, usability, among others.
  • Business process innovation: a new or improved business process for one or more business functions that differs significantly from the firm’s previous business processes and that has been brought into use in the firm. This concerns the different functions of a firm, including production of goods or services, distribution and logistics, marketing and sales, information and communication systems, administration and management, and product and business process development. 

Data collections based on the 2018 edition of the Oslo Manual are currently underway worldwide. The indicators currently featured on this page draw on data collected under previous, 2005 guidelines, which among other things treated marketing and organisational forms of innovation separately from product and process innovations.  




Despite a gradual process of harmonisation based on the Oslo Manual and its periodic updates national innovation surveys still exhibit some significant differences in design and implementation methodology. Results can be influenced by national idiosyncratic choices such as the sequencing and wording of questions, the filtering of firms throughout the questionnaire as well as aspects such as , the choice of the target population, the length of the reference period and data collection and processing methods. Results for this edition exhibit higher degree of international comparability owing for example to an increasing number of countries using standalone innovation surveys as opposed to collecting data on innovation from firms being primarily asked to report their R&D activity. 


Methodological and analytical work


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