Chapter 2: The Oslo Manual
Rules are needed to guide the measurement of innovation in ways that are reproducible over time and that give results comparable across jurisdictions. The Oslo Manual provides these rules. The Oslo Manual is used in countries belonging to the OECD, the EU, the African Union and in others. This chapter provides a history of the development of the Oslo Manual and reviews some of the consequences of its use. Experts at the OECD have been discussing innovation, its place in policy, and the need to measure it and its impacts, for more than 30 years (OECD 1992a: 3, 1992b). In the 1990s, experts in the working groups of Eurostat, the European statistical office, joined in the discussion as part of managing the EU Community Innovation Survey (CIS), described in Chapter 3. While the policy imperatives change from day to day, the need to measure and understand the activity of innovation remains. Over the years of discussion, a common vocabulary and grammar have emerged that facilitate the discussion, and the rules for measuring innovation have been codified in manuals on three separate occasions.
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