Innovation is more than R&D, yet the measurement of innovation relied for a long time just on R&D metrics.
This led to innovation policies that were much focused on R&D. To overcome this, the UK government asked Nesta to develop a new Innovation Index that captured wider forms of innovation beyond R&D.
At the heart of the Index is a wider and more complete measure of how much the UK invests in innovation, and what the benefits of this are to productivity.
This research brief summarises the main findings from the third release of Nesta's Innovation Index, covering the period from 1990 to 2009. The full results are described in the Nesta Working Paper 12/09, UK Innovation Index: Productivity and Growth in UK Industries, by Peter Goodridge, Jonathan Haskel and Gavin Wallis.
The Innovation Index uses investment in intangible assets as the main measure of innovation investment. Therefore, the Index measures not only scientific R&D, but the downstream co-investments needed to commercialise and profit from new ideas.
Specifically, it includes R&D, design, organisational improvement, training and skills development, software development, advertising and market research, and other knowledge investments (e.g., development and mineral exploration).
Our landmark project improves the way the UK measures investment in innovation.