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European Commission

Press memo

Brussels, 27 May 2014

Innobarometer 2014: Lack of financial resources hinders the commercialisation of innovations

The European Commission has published today the Innobarometer 2014 survey to understand the views and attitudes of EU enterprises towards the role of public support in the commercialisation of innovations.

The survey highlighted that the main hurdle to the commercialisation of innovative goods or services is the lack of financial resources.

The results of the Innobarometer are in line with the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2014 which confirmed that the EU is still lagging behind global leaders. Notably, while innovation performance overall is improving in all Member states, the commercialisation of innovation (SMEs introducing product innovation / sales of new to market and new to firm innovations) is making progress only slowly.

Innobarometer 2014 - Main results

1. The majority of companies have introduced at least one innovation in the last three years:

  • Two thirds of companies (66%) have introduced at least one innovation since January 2011 – most likely innovative services (38%) or goods (37%).

  • For nearly four in ten companies (39%), innovative goods or services contributed to more than 25% to annual turnover in 2013.

  1. More than three quarters of companies say management and employees contributed to the development of ideas for innovations while 54% say other companies contributed to the development of ideas for innovations.

2. Innovative companies are more inclined to collaborate with partners:

  • Companies are most likely to have collaborated with partner companies or external consultants (35%) or with client companies or individual consumers (33%) to market, distribute or promote innovative goods or services

  • Companies without innovative goods or services are less likely to have collaborated with partner companies or external consultants or with client companies or individual consumers (both 17%).

3. Very few innovative companies received public support:

Most companies say they have not received public financial support for R&D or other innovation activities since January 2011 (91%)

  1. Just over one in ten companies have received some kind of support for commercialising their innovative goods or services (12%), with support in training staff how to promote innovative goods or services (6%) and assistance meeting regulations or standards (4%) as the most common types of support.

4. The majority of innovative companies do not perceive public support as effective enough:

  • For companies that received public financial support of some kind there is an even split between those that say this support was important for developing innovations (48%) and those who say the support was not important (49%).

  • Companies that received financial or non-financial support from governments or administrations for commercialising their innovations are most likely to say this support was not important (67%).

5. Access to finance is main barrier for commercialising innovative products/services:

  1. Lack of financial resources is the main problem encountered in the commercialisation of innovative products or services (68%), followed by a market dominated by established competitors (64%) and the cost or complexity of meeting regulations or standards (62%).

6. Public procurement still underexploited as a means to spur innovation:

  1. Since January 2011 almost one in five companies (18%) have won at least one public procurement contract. Just over one third of companies that won a public procurement contract sold innovative goods or services as part of this.

  2. Only around one in twenty companies have been involved in the Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions since January 2011. However these companies are much more likely to have won at least one public procurement contract (61% vs. 15%), or to have made an unsuccessful tender (38% vs. 12%) compared to those not involved in the scheme.

Conclusions

The European Commission recognises the vital role innovation plays in Europe’s ability to compete in the global economy, and is involved in guiding and implementing policies and programmes that support the development of innovation. A cornerstone of this drive is the important role public procurement plays in fostering innovation from businesses and entrepreneurs.

In this framework, the Flash Eurobarometer “The role of public support in the commercialisation of innovations” was designed so as to to benchmark innovation activities in a range of areas, as well as to explore barriers to commercialisation of goods and services and investigate the role of public funding in innovation.

One of the main findings of the survey is that the lack of financial resources represents the main barrier encountered by companies in the commercialisation, marketing and distribution of their innovative products and services.

More information

Flash Eurobarometer “The role of public support in the commercialisation of innovations”


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