Sources & Methods


Business Innovation statistics include data about technical and non-technical innovative activities carried out in a specific three year period in the business sector.  Data about number of enterprises, number of employees, and turnover, together with technical and non-technical innovation is collected.  Technical innovation refers to new or significantly improved products whereas non-technical innovation refers to organisational and marketing innovation.  This data is broken down by NACE and employment headcount.  These statistics are compiled under European Framework Regulation (EC) No. 995/2012. 

Methodological description of survey

Data for this survey is collected by means of a paper questionnaire (Community Innovation Survey) that is sent to all enterprises employing 10 employees or more (i.e.  census based).  NACE Rev. 2 is used for the NACE classification.  Data about the number of enterprises and the number of persons employed are expressed in units, whereas the other variables are expressed in Euros.  Business Innovation data is compiled every two years.

Accuracy and reliability of data

Information about the accuracy and reliability of data can be viewed in a dedicated ESQRS report available on the NSO’s metadata website.

Timeliness and punctuality of data

Business Innovation tabular data for reference year N is transmitted to Eurostat by the end of June of year N+2 (18 months from the end of the reference year), so as to satisfy the requirements of the regulation mentioned above. Anonymised microdata for Business Innovation is also transmitted to Eurostat by the end of October of reference year N+2.  

The Business Innovation News Release is published on a yearly basis on the NSO’s website, normally within two years after the end of the reference period.  This is published on the pre-established date as scheduled in the Advance Release Calendar which is available on the NSO’s website. 

Accessibility and clarity of data

Business Innovation data can be accessed from Eurostat’s database.  Microdata can also be accessed by accredited researchers either in anonymised from on a CD or in Eurostat’s safe centre.

An ESQRS quality report for reference year N is transmitted to Eurostat by the end of October of reference year N+2 (22 months from the end of the reference year).  The quality report is also uploaded on the NSO website.

Coherence and comparability/consistency of data

Business Innovation data is comparable over time as from 2004 onwards.  Figures prior to 2008 are also reported in Euro.  Business Innovation data is not comparable to other business surveys since such surveys do not collect data on innovation expenditure.  However, data on intramural R&D expenditure is consistent with similar information provided in the R&D survey.  Results are comparable between all Member States.​


Other Documents Format
Innovation Survey
Inflation Calculator News releases calendar Request for Information NACE Code queries
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