From Statistics Explained
Innovation activities are all scientific, technological, organisational, financial and commercial steps which actually, or are intended to, lead to the implementation of innovations. Some innovation activities are themselves innovative, others are not novel activities but are necessary for the implementation of innovations. Innovation activities also include research and development (R & D) that is not directly related to the development of a specific innovation.
A common feature of an innovation is that it must have been implemented. A new or improved product is implemented when it is introduced on the market. New processes, marketing methods or organisational methods are implemented when they are brought into actual use in the firm's operations.
Innovation activities vary greatly in their nature from firm to firm. Some firms engage in well-defined innovation projects, such as the development and introduction of a new product, whereas others primarily make continuous improvements to their products, processes and operations. Both types of firms can be innovative: an innovation can consist of the implementation of a single significant change, or of a series of smaller incremental changes that together constitute a significant change.
- OECD/Eurostat, "The measurement of scientific and technological activities: guidelines for collecting and interpreting innovation data: Oslo manual", Third Edition, Paris, 2005 - pdf