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UK Innovation Survey

Introduction to the UK Innovation Survey

The UK Innovation Survey is part of a wider Community Innovation Survey (CIS) covering EU countries. The survey is based on a core questionnaire developed by the European Commission (EuroStat) and Member States. This is the tenth iteration of the survey (CIS10) and covers the period 2014 - 2016.

Main Findings;

  • In Scotland, 45.0% of businesses were innovation active in 2014-16, this compares to 49.0% for the UK as a whole.
  • Between 2012-14 and 2014-16, the innovation active share in Scotland fell by 5.4 percentage points - this compares to a decrease of 4.0 percentage points for the UK as a whole. 
  • In Scotland, the share of businesses introducing product and/or process innovations rose from 23.3% in 2012-14 to 27.5% in 2014-16. Whereas, the share of businesses introducing wider innovations in business practices fell from 43.2% in 2012-14 to 33.3% in 2014-16.
  • Large businesses (those with 250 or more employees) were more likely to be innovators compared to smaller businesses. In 2014-16, 43.2% of small (10-49 employees) businesses in Scotland were innovation-active, down from 50.5% in 2012-14.  Whereas for large businesses the innovation-active share increased from 55.2% in 2012-14 to 62.5% in 2014-16.
  • Businesses in the ‘Research and experimental development on social sciences and humanities’ sector were most likely to be innovation active in 2014-16. Business in the ‘Accommodation and food services’ sector were least likely to be innovation active in 2014-16.
  • In 2014-16, the highest share of Innovation Expenditure in Scotland and the UK was spent on ‘In-house research and development’.
  • For both Scotland and the UK the main driver for innovation, in 2014-16, was improving the quality of goods or services.
  • In Scotland, 55.3% of broader innovators reported co-operating with partners to support innovation in 2014-16. This is an increase of 12.9 percentage points since 2012-2014.


To view the latest publication and tables:

UK Innovation Survey 2017 - Results for Scotland


For the latest (and past) publications for the UK by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:

UK Innovation Survey 2017

For previous publications on the results for Scotland:

Publication Archive


For historic publications on the innovation survey:

Community Innovation Survey