The Community Innovation Surveys (CIS) are a series of surveys
Survey methodology is the field that studies surveys, that is, the sample of individuals from a population with a view towards making statistical inferences about the population using the sample. Polls about public opinion, such as political beliefs, are reported in the news media in democracies....
executed by national statistical
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....
offices throughout the European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...
and in Norway and Iceland. The harmonized surveys are designed to give information on the innovativity
Innovation is the creation of better or more effective products, processes, technologies, or ideas that are accepted by markets, governments, and society...
of different sectors and regions. Data from these surveys is used for the annual European Innovation Scoreboard
The European Innovation Scoreboard is an instrument of the European Commission, developed under the Lisbon Strategy to provide a comparative assessment of the innovation performance of EU Member States...
and for academic research on innovation, with over 200 papers using the CIS data published.
In the 1980s, a series of individual surveys on innovation was carried out. Thereupon, the member states of the European Union decided to coordinate their efforts, and they laid down a common methodological approach to innovation research in the Oslo Manual
The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development's document "The Measurement of Scientific and Technological Activities, Proposed Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Technological Innovation Data", also known as the Oslo Manual, contains guidelines for collecting and using data on...
As of 2009, five CIS surveys have been carried out:
- CIS1, 1992
- CIS2, 1996
- CIS3, 2001
- CIS4, for the reference period 2002-2004
- CIS 2006, for the reference period 2004-2006
CIS 2008 is currently in the field, while planning is underway for CIS 2010.
CIS1 experienced some difficulties, partly because no standards existed yet, and partly because of a rather limited time-frame. However, it already made a first attempt at homogenization, and at comparability with non-EU surveys. In that sense it was an important step towards CIS2, even though both surveys turned out to mark a rather large number of firms as 'innovative' due to their generous definitions. The more recent surveys paid more attention to service innovation
The concept of Service Innovation was first discussed in Miles and has been developed in the past 2 decades.It is used to refer to many things. These include but not limited to:...
s, and future surveys will also include management
Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively...
techniques, organisational change, design and marketing issues.
National statistical offices carry out the survey according to the EU-wide definitions of the Oslo Manual. They generally take a sample from all establishments, stratifying the sample by sector, establishment size and possibly region. For the size classes, a portion of all establishments below a certain size threshold is selected, but in most countries all large establishments receive a questionnaire. The survey is conducted at the enterprise level. Firms that organise their business activities into separate legally defined units can therefore be sampled several times.
The Community Innovation Surveys are the main data source for measuring innovation in Europe.
Aggregated data are disseminated on the Eurostat webpage under CIS data. The tables cover the basic information of the enterprise, product and process innovation, innovation activity and expenditure, effects of innovation, innovation co-operation, public finding of innovation, source of information for innovation patents, etc.
The resulting micro-datasets can be accessed by researchers via the SAFE Center at the premises of Eurostat in Luxembourg or the anonymised micro-data via CD Rom's; some countries provides also access to their micro-data on similar safe centers. Eurostat
Eurostat is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide the European Union with statistical information at European level and to promote the integration of statistical methods across the Member States of the European Union,...
also provides access to the EU-wide dataset for selected countries. Some non-EU countries perform very similar surveys according to the same methodology. These include Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.