Enterprise with innovative activities — enterprise that introduced during years under consideration a product innovation to market or implemented a process innovation or had some other innovation activity (incl. abandoned or ongoing innovation projects).

Innovation — the market introduction of a new or a significantly improved product (good/service) by enterprise, as well the implementation of new or significantly improved production process (incl. distribution method etc.) within enterprise. The innovation is based on the results of new technological developments, new combinations of existing technologies or utilisation of other knowledge acquired by enterprise.

Innovative activity — the acquisition of machinery, equipment, software, and licenses; engineering and development work, training, marketing and any research and development activities when they are specifically undertaken to develop and/or implement a product or process innovation.

Innovative enterprise — enterprise that introduced during years under consideration a product innovation to market or implemented a process innovation.

Marketing innovation — significant change in sales or distribution methods of enterprise’s goods or services, including changes in design and packaging.

Marketing innovations do not include:

- routine or seasonal changes (as clothing fashion);

- advertising except for first-time use of new media.

Organisational innovation — significant change in the enterprise’s business practice, workplace organisation or external relations with other enterprises/organisations intended to increase the capability to innovate or the enterprise’s performance (quality, efficiency, etc.) Organisational innovation is usually understood in a broader sense than for instance just the restructuring of a certain part of supply chain.

Organisational innovations do not include:

- changes in management strategy that do not involve the changes in organisational structure;

- implementation of new technology in a certain unit (for instance the producing unit), it is rather connected to process innovation.

Process innovation — process innovations appear in industry as well as in services in the form of new or significantly improved production process, distribution method or ancillary support activity. Process innovation includes changes in techniques, equipment and/or software implemented with the intention to improve the quality of products, to decrease the unit costs of production or delivery, to reduce the environmental impact or improve safety.

Process innovation does not include:

- insignificant changes or improvements;

- rise in productivity due to the addition of the equipment or logistic system already implemented;

- innovations, the major part of which is the new kind of relation with the customer — those belong to product innovation.

Product innovation — goods or service that differs significantly from products previously produced by enterprise with respect to its characteristics or intended uses. This includes significant improvements in technical specifications, components and materials, incorporated software, user friendliness or other functional characteristics. The product innovations are directly sold to consumer differing in that way from process innovations.

The product innovations do not include:

- insignificant changes or improvements;

- routine category raises;

- seasonal changes (for instance clothing fashion);

- customization of product to the needs of a single customer that does not involve significant changes in comparison to products offered to other customers;

- changes in design not accompanied with changes in technical specifications or functional characteristics.

- renaming or new packaging of products for a new market;

- trading of new goods or services acquired from other enterprises for reselling purposes except for the case when those goods or services are developed and produced by a foreign subsidiary.


The statistical survey “Innovation Survey of Enterprises” for the years 2004–2006 is the implementation of European Community survey (Community Innovation Survey — CIS) in Estonia. The survey is carried out in all European Union member and candidate states simultaneously. The frame of the survey covered all enterprises with at least 10 persons employed in industry (excl. construction) and selected economic activities in services (see the list of activities under Classifications). The Survey was total for enterprises with at least 50 persons employed, and in the case of enterprises with less than 50 persons employed the random stratified sampling was applied if a stratum consisted of more than 50 enterprises. As a result of the use of weighted sums, the indicators — number of enterprises — are presented in database as fractional numbers.


To evaluate the enterprise’s innovativeness it was asked about its activities during a three-year — 2004–2006 — period. If an enterprise did not have during this period any innovative activities, it did not introduce product innovations into market and did not implement process innovations, it was considered non-innovative. New enterprises born in 2004 or later could be non-innovative only if they were established on the basis of enterprise existing earlier or were part of such enterprise and this process did not involve any innovative activities. For a totally new enterprise its products and processes are always innovations.


For the survey under consideration the organisational and marketing innovations were not included among innovative activities but were handled separately.


The methodology of innovation statistics is based on the OECD manual “Proposed Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data. Oslo Manual“. The penultimate version of the manual was published in 1992 and the last one in 2005. CIS 2006 follows the 1992 version, taking in only some details from the 2005 one. As a result, the data collected are comparable with results of CIS3 and CIS4 performed in 2001 and 2005, the only difference from CIS3 being the lack of the enterprises with research and development economic activity in the frame.


Surveyed economic activities as described in EMTAK 2003 – Estonian Classification of Economic Activities based on NACE Rev.1



Mining of coal and lignite; extraction of peat


Extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas; service activities incidental to oil and gas extraction, excluding surveying


Mining of uranium and thorium ores


Mining of metal ores


Other mining and quarrying


Manufacture of food products and beverages


Manufacture of tobacco products


Manufacture of textiles


Manufacture of wearing apparel; dressing and dyeing of fur


Tanning and dressing of leather; manufacture of luggage, handbags, saddlery, harness and footwear


Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture; manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials


Manufacture of paper and paper products


Publishing, printing and reproduction of recorded media


Manufacture of coke, refined petroleum products and nuclear fuel


Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products


Manufacture of rubber and plastics products


Manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products


Manufacture of basic metals


Manufacture of fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment


Manufacture of machinery and equipment n.e.c.


Manufacture of office, accounting and computing machinery


Manufacture of electrical machinery and apparatus n.e.c.


Manufacture of radio, television and communication equipment and apparatus


Manufacture of medical, precision and optical instruments, watches and clocks


Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers


Manufacture of other transport equipment


Manufacture of furniture; manufacturing n.e.c.




Electricity, gas, steam and hot water supply


Collection, purification and distribution of water


Wholesale trade and commission trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles


Land transport; transport via pipelines


Water transport


Air transport


Supporting and auxiliary transport activities; activities of travel agencies


Post and telecommunications


Financial intermediation, except insurance and pension funding


Insurance and pension funding, except compulsory social security


Activities auxiliary to financial intermediation


Computer and related activities


Architectural and engineering activities and related technical consultancy


Technical testing and analysis


Used activity groups:




..mining and quarrying




..electricity, gas and water supply




..wholesale trade and commission trade


..transport, storage and communications

65–67 intermediation

72, 742, 743 and related activities, architectural and engineering activities, technical testing and analysis


Innovation in Estonian Enterprises 1998–2000. Foundation Enterprise Estonia, 2002

Innovation in Estonian Enterprises. Foundation Enterprise Estonia, 2007

Heinlo A. (2008). Innovaatilisus jätkuvalt heal tasemel. Teadus- ja arendustegevus 2006.

Innovativeness continously measures up. Research and development 2006


Tiina Pärson

Enterprise and Agricultural Statistics Department

Tel +372 625 9233

Updated:  17.09.2015