Reports 2012/46

Innovation in the Norwegian Business Enterprise Sector 2008-2010

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The share of Norwegian enterprises that introduced new products or new processes during the period from 2008 through 2010 fell two percentage points compared to the previous survey (2006-2008). These results continue a declining trend in the share of innovative enterprises observed in the previous two surveys.

Among the enterprises covered, a total of 24 percent introduced new or significantly changed products (goods or services) and/or processes during the preceding three-year period. Nineteen percent launched new products, while 13 per cent employed new processes. Nine percent of the enterprises had both types of innovation.

In addition to product and process innovations, 20 per cent of the enterprises introduced organizational innovations, while 21 percent introduced marketing innovations. This is roughly at the same level as reported in the previous innovation survey.

Overall, the results show a reduction in the share of product or process innovators of 3 percentage points, from 27 to 24 per cent. This is a similar decline to the one observed in the previous survey. It is primarily being caused by a marked decrease in the likelihood that an enterprise will be a process innovator, but also by a fall in the share of enterprises introducing new or improved goods. The share of innovators introducing new services remained stable between the surveys. The decline is seen almost consistently, regardless of enterprise size and main industry, but is most prominent for the smallest enterprises (5-9 employees) and in the services sector.

Despite the fact that the share of product innovators dropped from 21 to 19 per cent compared to the previous survey, the enterprises’ share of turnover coming from product innovations increased from 4.5 per cent in 2008 to 5.7 percent in 2010.

Enterprises within travel and tourism were covered on a pilot basis in the 2008-2010 survey. The results show notably lower rates of product- and process innovation in these enterprises compared to other services overall.

The report also touches upon two projects conducted in conjunction with the regular survey. The, first seeking to evaluate the collection of innovation expenditure data in the Norwegian CIS, showed that even with significant extra resources put towards editing these variables, the impact was minor. Overall innovation expenditure is still dominated by R&D, and both the utility and validity of other innovation expenditure data may be questioned.

The second project sought to determine whether methodological issues related to the data gathering process might lead to underreporting of innovation activities in the Norwegian CIS. The results show significantly higher innovation rates using a separate CIS survey compared to the combined CIS and R&D survey normally used in Norway. The results increase further when the separate CIS is voluntary with a low response rate, as is the case for certain CIS im-plementing countries.

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