2002: innovative European business managers build on skills and
Brussels, 13 March 2003
European companies continue to invest in new products and services
despite often difficult economic conditions, reports the 2002 Innobarometer
poll. 3,000 EU managers were interviewed in September 2002 on their
companies' innovative performance. They relate progress in innovation
above all to the qualifications and professionalism of their staff
and consider the opportunities provided by the EU's internal market
as a decisive advantage for innovation.
Enterprise Commissioner Erkki Liikanen said: «Europe's most valuable
economic resource is its people, and the skills that they have.
Their ability to innovate across the whole range of entrepreneurial
activity is vital to sustain and improve Europe's overall competitiveness
According to Innobarometer 2002, staff skills and knowledge, as
well as the potential offered by the European dimension of innovative
markets, are key factors in innovation performance.
:: Managers attribute their companies' strength in innovation
primarily (49%) to the qualifications and professionalism of their
:: European business leaders consider the role of markets
that are open to innovative products even more important than they
did in 2001. One manager out of two now says that access to innovative
customers and/or markets is the most important unsatisfied need
relating to innovation.
:: The majority of managers expect that innovation will benefit
in the coming years from EU single market rules, which they expect
to open up new markets.
:: The share of investment that companies channel into innovation
has grown since 2001 to average over 25%. The leaders here are the
manufacturing sector, with 32% of investment devoted on average
to innovation, exporting and "younger" companies.
:: From 2001 to 2002, enterprises in the European Union slowly
but continuously strengthened their innovation activities. The share
of new or renewed products or services introduced within the last
two years accounts now on average for 22% of companies' turnover,
up 2 points from the previous survey.
Highly innovative European firms are found most frequently amongst
exporting companies, younger enterprises and the industrial sector.
They seem well placed to build on the opportunities offered in the
coming years by the existing markets of the European Union as well
as by the enlargement.
The Innobarometer survey is designed to complement the more deeply
researched Innovation Scoreboard, but remains essentially an opinion
poll rather than a formal data-gathering exercise.
The poll was carried out between 9 and 30 September 2002 by Gallup
Europe in the 15 EU Member States using the Flash Eurobarometer
telephone polling system.
For further information: http://www.cordis.lu/innovation-smes/src/innobarometer.htm