The Community Innovation Survey (CIS) was designed to complement the traditional indicators, such as R&D expenditure and patent statistics, in the measurement of innovation. In particular, the CIS provides a sound statistical basis for better understanding the innovation process and its effects on the economy and for monitoring and evaluating the innovation policies of the Member States and the European Union. Since 2000 the CIS has become a major data source of the European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS), an instrument developed at the initiative of the European Commission, under the Lisbon Strategy, to assess and compare the innovation performance of the EU Member States. The CIS provides the users with a number of indicators as well as data for analytical studies on several features of the innovation activity, such as product and process innovation, organisational and marketing innovation; innovation activities and expenditures; intellectual property rights, impact on turnover, and effects of innovation, sources of information, cooperation for innovation and the factors hampering innovation.
It is conducted by EU Member States and candidate countries, plus Norway and Iceland under the co-ordination of Eurostat using a harmonised questionnaire and survey method which define the structure of the questions to be asked and the statistical methods to be used by the countries participating. The CIS 4 survey is based on Commission Regulation No 1450/2004, which establishes the legal basis for innovation statistics and makes it compulsory to deliver data on a number of basic variables. The methodological basis of the CIS is provided by the Oslo Manual, a joint publication by Eurostat and the OECD.
The target population is represented by all the enterprises with at least 10 employees operating in manufacturing industries as well as in service sectors. A common set of methodology and a core questionnaire are defined and implemented in order to provide comparable, harmonised and representative data on a pan-European scale.