Innovation Indicators for the Doing-Using-Interacting-Mode of SME

Innovation Indicators for the Doing-Using-Interacting-Mode of SME


Awarding Authority
Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
Funding Priority "Innovationen besser messen"

01.10.2017 – 30.09.2020

Brief Description

Economic Context

In order to measure innovation efforts, compare them and determine the effectiveness of innovation policies, an appropriate set of indicators is needed. For this reason, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has decided in a new funding line to fund research of new approaches to measure innovation. The focus on input indicators such as the research and development (R&D) expenses and output parameters such as the number of patent applications is insufficient because it only covers the formalized part of innovation activities; the vast array of informal learning- and knowledge exchange processes is neglected. The latter, however, are of great significance, which is why the previous indicators lead to a systematic underestimation of innovation activities, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). The project “„InDUI – Innovation Indicators for the Doing-Using-Interacting-Mode of SME “ is trying to address this deficiency.

Research Context and Project Aim

The research project InDUI specifies the measurement of DUI innovation activities. It focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) because they are more likely to achieve their technological and non-technological innovations with small proportions of, or sometimes without any own, formal R&D. A recent country-comparison has shown that German SME rely relatively heavily on this type of innovation activity. The aim of InDUI is, therefore, to develop a set of indicators that measures these innovation outputs of enterprises as well as regional innovation systems, which predominantely apply the DUI-mode when innovating as well. The research projekt identifies the underlying learning processes and behavioral patterns of DUI innovations and tests certain mechanisms under controlled laboratory conditions using economic experiments. This methodoly allows us to identify central behavioral components and to explain the behavioral and psychological mechanism behind the DUI innovation processes of individuals, businesses and regional innovation systems. After the initial development of a set of indicators, it will be applied for South Lower Saxony and the regions of Hannover and Erfurt/Weimar/Jena. The project results will be communicated to the scientific innovation research community, businesses as well as innovation policy practitioners.

Project Partners

  • Leibniz Universität Hannover - Prof. Dr. Rolf Sternberg
  • Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena - Prof. Dr. Uwe Cantner