4/10/2009 2:16:00 AM By
4/7/2009 5:36:00 AM By
Eric Von Hippel of MIT and coauthors have been engaged with some interesting research in the Netherlands and Canada.
- De Jong, Jeroen P.J. and Von Hippel, Eric A.,Measuring User Innovation in Dutch High Tech SMEs: Frequency, Nature and Transfer to Producers(February 27, 2009). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4724-09. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1352496
- Gault, Fred and Von Hippel, Eric A.,The Prevalence of User Innovation and Free Innovation Transfers: Implications for Statistical Indicators and Innovation Policy(February 3, 2009). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4722-09. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1337232
The Netherlands work is based on survey questions which were added to an existing panel survey that the EIM manages. Here is how the De Jong and Von Hippel describe the data in their paper:
"The Dutch research institute EIM manages a panel of high-technology SMEs in the Netherlands which it surveys every year. The panel was created to explore the nature of high-tech SMEs’ business processes, and to assess the effectiveness of innovation and entrepreneurship policies (EIM, 2006). In the fall of 2007, EIM gave the authors of this paper permission to include several questions about user innovation in this annual survey, and the data and findings we report upon here are derived from responses to these questions.
The panel defines high-tech firms as those who actively engage in R&D, and who develop and/or apply new technologies in their products (Grinstein and Goldman, 2006). They are innovative and process-intensive firms. Following the Dutch definition of SMEs, the panel contains only independent commercial organizations with 1-100 employees. Data were collected with computer assisted telephone interviewing. During a period of four weeks in November and December 2007, surveys were completed with 514 of the 779 panelists (66%). Respondents were all directors or managers with a good overview of their firms’ practices, including innovation. It appeared that since the start of the panel (November 2005), 16 respondents had been purchased by larger organizations, or had grown to the point of having more than 100 employees. These respondents were discarded from further analysis. Our data therefore reflect answers by 498 respondents. Since all respondents were participants in a panel that had been surveyed before (EIM, 2006), we were able to enrich our data by including previouslycollected data on background variables such as industry classifications."
What is interesting about this work is its focus on user innovation development, the assistance from producers and others in developing those innovations, the costs related to the innovations, and the ultimate transfer of the innovations to others. The authors report that fifty-four percent of their sample report "developing new and/or modifying existing process equipment or software for in-house use within the last 3 years" at a cost of more than €235,000. Of these developments, the authors find that a quarter have been transferred back to equipment producers or software vendors for commercial sale with 48 percent of these transfers happening at no charge. The authors go on to report that "narrowcasting information about their innovations to equipment producers which whom they have a preexisting relationship" is the preference of the innovators. Most of the questions used are available in Table 1 of the paper (although the questions are shown out of context from the larger survey).
The work on Canada is perhaps a better piece for those wanting an overview of this line of research. Questionnaires for this work are available online. Stats Canada undertook this survey in in 2007 and early 2008. Only manufacturing and logging establishments were surveyed with a more than 20 employees. Many of the findings are in line with the Dutch study but by the nature of the survey population, we are able to see more into the costs associated with process innovations by "user firms," which the authors report could be close to 10 percent of all R&D expenditure in Canada. In this paper, the authors also get into more detail on the possible policy implications of their work, for both statistical offices in terms of measurement and for policy makers wishing to promote societally beneficial dissemination of innovations.
I would last like to applaud the researchers for their presentation of new survey research that is tied into the larger discussion of how innovation measurement can be improved. In their conclusion they point out that the Oslo Manual, which defines much of how innovation measurement is standardized across countries, would not currently track many measures of innovation which the authors find to be prevalent. Specifically, the authors indicate that the Oslo Manual would not consider an innovation which is developed by and consumed by users only as an innovation, because it had not been commercialized.
4/3/2009 4:58:00 AM By
There is something about intangible assets which I find fascinating. I don't know exactly what it is. Perhaps it's just that existing measures of innovation always seem to come up so short of fully capturing innovation. Wikipedia has a definition of intangible assets but there is really a broad range of definitions used in the literature. Corrado, Sichel, and Hulten are the most referenced scholars in this area for some work they did several years back which attempted to measure, with a lot of underlying assumptions, intangible capital in the United States economy. That work has now been replicated by other scholars around the world.
The Athena Alliance has a new paper our on monetizing intangible assets that focuses on key policy directions that need to happen in order to provide for monetization (and transparency) of intangible assets. I would also recommend a PowerPoint that one of the authors presented in early March 2009 that appears to be related to this paper release. I first saw Athena present at a workshop of the National Academies last year. In this area, I'd also look at some of the work of the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS) who have been taking an approach of determining industry-appropriate measures for intangible assets and innovation. I believe they will be releasing some reports in this area over the coming months.
We have been working hard on a slightly different effort with intangible assets - how to measure it in a business survey. I am not going to get fully into that today. There are some exciting business surveys going on around the world to test different questions on measuring intangible assets. If you are aware of questions which have been used or tested on this subject, please let me know.
4/2/2009 4:50:00 AM By
The RICAFE conference in Europe is one that I've only been able to enjoy the proceedings from, but enjoy I have. Today they released their proceedings from the most recent conference. I wanted to point out one paper in particular which seems to overview some entrepreneurship and innovation data that looks particularly novel. Of particular note, the Survey of Innovative Businesses in Latvia looks to have deviated from some of the core activities of the Community Innovation Survey in some important ways for understanding the relationship between entrepreneurship and innovation. In particular, they appear to emphacize understanding innovation in small firms. Additionally, their survey incorporates some aspects of financing activities. They also have the added benefit of matching their data to other federal data.
"This paper uses the Survey of Innovative Businesses in Latvia (SIBiL) to study the relationship between owner’s human capital and firm level innovations. SIBiL is a novel microlevel ataset covering a wide range of innovative activities of 1251 small Latvian firms in 2007-2008. The sampling design of SIBiL is very similar to Community Innovation Survey (CIS), the ain instrument for measuring firm-level innovations in the European Union. The questionnaire and the sampling method of SIBiL are nearly identical to those of the CIS. However, SIBiL has a umber of important advantages. First, SIBiL complements CIS by focusing on small firms with
less than 50 employees. In contrast, the CIS does not cover firms with less than 10 employees. Second, SIBiL is conducted using face-to-face interviews with owners and managers of the ompanies, which is a more reliable method compared with the mailed questionnaires used by CIS. All the interviews were conducted by Latvian Facts, a professional survey firm. Third, IBiL has a substantially larger questionnaire, covering the areas of access to and the use of external financing, business strategy, and background of the owners, such as their human capital nd prior professional experience. Fourth, SIBiL specifically focuses on sectors that EuroStat lassifies as high-technology manufacturing and knowledge intensive services. About 35% of the firms in the sample operate in these sectors. Fifth, our survey data are merged with the financial and ownership data from the Business Registry."
This research protocol sounds remarkably similar to several other surveys and coordinated survey/research effforts. In particular, the theory expressed here is very similar to that behind the Kauffman Firm Survey and the research itself is sounds very close to the research protocol being used by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's coordinated microdata study which will be presenting preliminary results at the Kauffman Foundation at a meeting in June.
3/31/2009 5:51:00 AM By
The FIRB-RISC CONFERENCE, organized by CESPRI (Centre of Research on Innovation and Internationalization) is seeking papers on an upcoming conference with theme “Research and entrepreneurship in the knowledge-based economy”.
September 7-8, 2009
KITeS-Cespri, Bocconi University
I wanted to highlight that organizers are specifcally seeking papers that look at things like investments in intangible assets or innovation while looking at entrepreneurship.
2/26/2009 3:23:00 AM By
There is little doubt to me that those of us following innovation measurement are patent obsessed, but that's not often because we want to be. But as much as we talk about moving away from patents, patents are relatively easy to get data on and as such patents remain the dominant source of data used to look at innovation by academics around the world. The OECD Patent Statistics Manual is a primer for anyone looking to use patents as an indicator. Check out their newly revised edition on the OECD's patent statistics page.
Chapter 1. Objectives and Scope of the Manual
Chapter 2. Patents as Statistical Indicators of Science and Technology
Introduction | Legal foundations of patents | Administrative routes for protection | Economic foundations of patents | The information content of patent documents | Patents as statistical indicators of inventive activity | Patent databases | Topics of investigation
Chapter 3. Patent Systems and Procedures
Introduction | The core patenting procedure | National and regional procedures | International patent applications
Chapter 4. Basic Criteria for Compiling Patent-Based Indicators
Introduction | Reference date | Reference country | PCT applications | Patent families | Normalised country-level patent indicators
Chapter 5. Classifying Patents by Different Criteria
Introduction | Technology fields | Industry classification | Regional classification | Institutional sectors | Patents by companies | Patents by investors
Chapter 6. The Use and Analysis of Citations in Patents
Introduction | What are citations? | Uses and applications of citations indicators | Citation practices in patent offices | Citation-based indicators | Non-patent literature | Other indicators based citation categories (EPO and PCT search reports)
Chapter 7. Indicators of Internationalisation of Science and Technology
Introduction | Indicators | Ownership and research strategies
Chapter 8. Indicators of Patent Value
Introduction | Forward citations | Indicators
2/15/2009 9:10:00 PM By
I've seen two recent calls for what looked to be good upcoming events studying innovation in the developing world with an explicit interest in the use of microdata.
- Third Conference on Micro Evidence on Innovation in Developing Economies
Rio de Janeiro
May 10-12, 2009
Institute for Applied Economic Research, Brasilia, Brazil
UNU-MERIT, United Nations University
- Workshop on Firm-Level Data Analysis in Transition and Developing Economies
April 23-24, 2009
And while not a call for papers, this summer opportunity at the Barcelona School of Economics looks very much to have a similar focus and appeal.
1/18/2009 8:49:00 AM By
Developing better data is part of Kauffman's long-term strategy for advancing better research and policy on entrepreneurship and innovation. Data Maven is place you can connect with new data developments, provide us feedback on possible new projects, and contribute to the community seeking to improve entrepreneurship and innovation measurement.
E.J. Reedy is a manager in Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. Learn more ...