Press release: 12.262-102/20

63% of the Austrian enterprises set innovation activities

Vienna, 2020-06-24 – 62.6% of Austrian enterprises have set up innovation activities between 2016 and 2018, as Statistics Austria reports. The share of innovators has thus remained stable compared to the period 2014 to 2016 (62.0%; see table 1). 34.6% of all enterprises have introduced new or improved products or services (product innovation). 23.0% introduced market novelties, the remaining 11.4% only introduced products and services that were new for their own enterprise, but not for their market.

55.2% of all enterprises have introduced new or improved business processes. The most frequent business process innovation was the introduction of new or improved methods for information processing or communication.

15% of all enterprises received public funding for innovation

An estimated 14.9% of total turnover 2018 was achieved by product innovations, which represents a slight increase since 2016 (12.6%; see table 2). In 2018, innovation expenditures of the observed enterprises amounted to around €9.8 bn, which is 2.1% of total turnover (2016: 2.2%).

11.5% of all enterprises have received innovation funding from the federal state between 2016 and 2018, 8.2% from regional governments ("Bundesländer"), around 5% from the EU. Altogether, 15.4% of all enterprises received funding for innovation from a public institution. Large enterprises with 250 and more employed persons benefitted more often from public support (43.5%) than medium-sized enterprises (26.4%) and small businesses (11.2%).

Lack of qualified employees biggest hampering factor for innovation

For 20.1% of all enterprises, the lack of qualified employees was an obstacle to innovation, which was judged to be "of high importance" according to their own assessment. For 18.6%, "other priorities within the enterprise" were a barrier to innovation activities. 14.3% considered too high innovation costs to be a major obstacle and 12.6% mentioned too much competition in their market (see table 3).

Innovative enterprises tend to identify greater obstacles to innovation than non-innovators. For 23.5% of all enterprises with innovation activities, the lack of qualified employees is a hampering factor of high importance, whereas this applies to only 14.4% of the non-innovators.

For more detailed results and further information concerning innovation statistics please refer to our website.


Information on methods, definitions: Data originate from the weighted results of the Community Innovation Survey (CIS 2018) which was carried out by Statistics Austria on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW). It was a sample survey with voluntary participation, for which data from 2 800 enterprises with ten or more employed persons could be used. The industries surveyed were: Mining and quarrying; manufacturing; electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply; water supply, waste management; wholesale trade; transportation and storage; information and communication; financial and insurance services; architectural and engineering activities; scientific research and development; advertising and market research. 
An innovation is a new or improved good, service or process that differs significantly from the enterprise's previous products or processes and that has been made available on the market or brought into use by the enterprise. 
A product innovation is the introduction of a new or improved good or a new or improved service. A business process innovation is the introduction of a new or improved business process that differs significantly from the business processes that were previously used.

Table 1: Comparison of the most important innovation indicators since 2012
as % of all enterprises
Share of innovation enterprises, total59.562.062.6
Share of product innovators30.834.434.6
Share of enterprises with market novelties21.922.723.0
Table 2: Share of turnover with innovations and innovation expenditure since 2014
as % of total turnover
Share of turnover with innovative products12.012.614.9
Innovation expenditure, as % of total turnover2.02.22.1
Table 3: Hampering factors for innovation
Hampering factors of "high importance"as % of all enterprises
Lack of skilled employees20.1
Different priorities within the enterprise18.6
Innovation costs too high14.3
Too much competition in the market12.6
Difficulties in obtaining public grants for innovation11.5
Lack of internal finance10.1
Uncertain market demands8.8
Lack of credit funding5.0
Lack of collaboration partners4.5
Lack of access to external knowledge2.7

For further inquiries please contact Directorate Social Statistics, Statistics Austria:  
Andreas SCHIEFER, Tel. +43 (1) 71128-7162 resp. and 
Karin Juliana BAUER, Tel. +43 (1) 71128-7718 resp.

Media owner, producer and publisher: 
STATISTICS AUSTRIA, Federal Institution under Public Law 
1110 Vienna, Austria, Guglgasse 13, Tel.: +43 (1) 71128-7777