Innovation Survey

The UK Innovation Survey is part of a wider European Community Innovation Survey providing a range of information related to innovation activity among enterprises, and includes information on the extent of innovation activity and the impact of innovation on businesses.

Business Innovation Activity in Northern Ireland - NI statistics from the UK Innovation Survey (2021)

The most recent report presents results from the Northern Ireland element of the UK Innovation Survey (UKIS) 2021. This is the twelfth such survey, and covers the three-year period from 2018 to 2020.

Headline Results 

  • The percentage of innovation active businesses in NI has increased with just under two-fifths of businesses (38%) engaging in innovation in 2018-2020.  The rate of innovation activity was lower in NI than in the UK overall, where 45% of UK businesses were innovation active in 2018-2020.
  • Across the UK, the percentage of innovation active businesses ranged from 38% in NI to 51% in the East of England. There has been a reported increase in innovation activity across all regions of the UK between 2016-2018 and 2018-2020.
  • As is the case across the UK, a higher proportion of large businesses (with more than 250 employees) in NI were innovation active (46%) than small and medium businesses (10-249 employees, 38%).
  • ‘Improving quality of goods or services’, ‘replacing outdated products or processes’ and ‘meeting regulatory requirements’ were the main factors driving innovation in NI, being of ‘high’ importance to 42%, 36% and 36% of broader innovators respectively in 2018-2020.

Current publication

Archive data

Northern Ireland Innovation Survey 2006 

This NI-only Innovation Survey covered the period 2003-2005, and among other things, collected information on the extent of business innovation, factors perceived to be limiting innovation, and co-operation arrangements on innovation activities.

By adopting similar methodologies as those used in the fourth Community Innovation Survey (UKIS 2005), the survey offers a time-series for 2002-2004 and 2003-2005 regional innovation activity.