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Austria's Performance in the Area of Innovation and Research: An International Comparison

  • Hannes Leo


The new evidence collected by WIFO through the Community Innovation Survey (CIS) shows that Austria's performance in the area of innovation is significantly better than could be suggested based on current statistics and the views brought forth in economic and technology policy debates. When it comes to the introduction of process and product innovations, Austrian firms are among the most innovative within Europe. Austria lags only slightly behind the European average of expenditures for innovation (3.5 percent of revenue in Austria versus 3.8 percent in Europe), mainly because Austrian firms are rather risk averse and are implementing small scale but numerous innovative projects. However, when relying on an output indicator in order to measure Austria's innovative strength, Austrian firms are up to par with Europe: 31 percent of the generated revenues stem from new and improved products, which corresponds to the European average. Only in Germany do firms manage to generate more revenue with their new or improved products (43 percent). The Community Innovation Survey (CIS) was also used as a framework to determine the level, and to make projections, of R&D expenditures for the year 1996. The results indicate that here too, expenditures increased significantly relative to the last available statistics in 1993. R&D expenditures by firms reached about ATS 22.3 billion in 1996, which corresponds to an increase of 46 percent relative to 1993. However, these numbers include some service sector R&D expenditures, which amount to about ATS 1.4 billion and which for the first time were included in the survey.

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Article provided by WIFO in its journal WIFO-Monatsberichte.

Volume (Year): 72 (1999)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 435-443

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Handle: RePEc:wfo:monber:y:1999:i:6:p:435-443
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