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National Innovation, Indicators and Policy

Edited by Louise Earl and Fred Gault

This book takes stock of what is known about the process of innovation and its effects, and the policy interventions that influence both. It provides insights into future research required to support evidence-based policy-making and makes clear the need to take a systems approach to the analysis of innovation, its outcomes and its impacts.
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Chapter 1: An Introduction to Innovation and Policy

Louise Earl and Fred Gault


Louise Earl and Fred Gault This book is a result of a research workshop in 2003 that took stock of what is known about innovation, and its outcomes, and the policy interventions that influence both. It provides insights into what more needs to be known to support the making of evidence-based policy. The workshop came at the end of the ‘Towards A European Area of Research and Innovation (TEARI) Project’, led by Jan Fagerberg, which approached the understanding of innovation from a European perspective. It also came at a time when the Oslo Manual, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) manual that provides the guidelines for the collection and interpretation of data on innovation (OECD/Eurostat 1997, 2005), was being revised and when the OECD was intent upon expanding its indicators of science, technology and innovation activities. The Oslo revision process included increasing the scope of innovative activities to be measured. For over a decade, the definition was limited to the introduction of new products (goods or services) to the market, or new processes to produce or deliver products for the market. This was technological innovation. The additions, in line with Schumpeterian thought, were the development of new markets, or capturing more of existing ones, and also the use of new organizational structures and business practices to move products to market. This meant that, at the time of the workshop, there were many people thinking about how to develop measures of innovation, and of the outcomes of...

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