Innovating Business

Last updated 27 November 2017

The share of enterprises engaging in innovation activity in Scotland increased from 47.1 per cent in the 2010-2012 to 56.4 per cent in 2012-2014. The share of innovation active enterprises in Scotland is now 3.8 percentage points below the UK average of 60.2 per cent.



Innovation is crucial for businesses to maintain profitability and competitiveness, and to provide high value products and services in a competitive, globalised economy. Innovation is considered to be a key determinant of productivity growth and economic performance.


The indicator measures the share of Scotland-based businesses (with 10+ employees) that are ‘Innovation Active’.  This indicator is on the EU definition which includes the following Standard Industrial Classification 2007 Sections & Divisions B-C-D-E-46-H-J-K-71-72-73 – note that sectors such as Agriculture (section A), Construction (section F), Retail (Division 47), Hotels & restaurants (section I) are excluded. ‘Innovation Active’ is defined here as enterprises which were engaged in any of the following: 1. Introduction of a new or significantly improved product (good or service) or process; 2. Engagement in innovation projects not yet complete or abandoned; 3. New and significantly improved forms of organisation, business structures or practices and marketing concepts or strategies. Criteria for dashboard recent performance colour: If change is within +/- 3 percentage point this suggests that the position is within measurement error and is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 3 percentage point or more suggests that the position is improving, whereas a decrease of 3 percentage point or more suggests that the position is worsening.


This indicator is published by the Scottish Government at: UK figures were published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy at:


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