Innovation refers to the launch of a new or significantly improved product or service or the introduction of a new business process. The aim of innovation is to create value and gain a competitive advantage, which will benefit the enterprise’s development and increase productivity, simultaneously contributing to economic growth.

Product or process innovation can involve the application of new technological solutions, a new combination of existing technologies or the application of the knowledge available to the enterprise. However, innovation may not always result in the launch of a new product or service or improvement of a completed production process. Innovation activities may also be abandoned before the end result is achieved.

Innovation statistics provide information on

  • how many Estonian enterprises are engaged in innovation;
  • what kind of innovation is pursued by enterprises;
  • what is the strategy of enterprises in innovation development, use of resources and innovation cooperation.

On the basis of innovation statistics, it is possible to analyse economic development trends, make decisions affecting the society and formulate innovation policy. The data are collected through the innovation survey of enterprises and allow comparing Estonian enterprises and their innovativeness with other European Union and OECD countries.

Share of innovative enterprises 64.0 %
Number of innovative enterprises 2,407
Number of innovative enterprises in industry 1,266
Number of innovative enterprises in service activities 1,141
Total expenditure on innovation 0.86 billion euros
Turnover from new products 3.32 billion euros
Turnover from new products in industry 1.75 billion euros
Turnover from new products in service activities 1.57 billion euros
Enterprises by type of process innovation | 2020
Industry Service activities Total
Process innovative enterprises 1,029 983 2,011
New or improved methods for producing goods or providing services (including developing) 805 672 1,477
New or improved logistics, delivery or distribution methods 226 260 487
New or improved methods for information processing or communication 308 385 693
New methods for accounting or other administrative operations 256 304 561
New business practices for organising procedures or external relations 225 304 529
New methods of organising work responsibility, decision making or human resource management 391 521 912
New marketing methods for promotion, packaging, pricing, product placement or after sales services 310 388 698

Enterprises by type of product innovation | 2020
Industry Service activities Total
Product innovative enterprises 576 467 1,043
New goods 360 160 520
Improved goods 471 205 677
New services 150 286 437
Improved services 202 363 565

Innovation expenditure of enterprises | 2020
Unit: thousand euros
Industry Services activities Total
Own personnel working on innovation 8,159 42,385 50,545
Services, materials, supplies purchased from others for innovation 13,458 13,547 27,005
Capital goods for innovation 161,875 229,259 391,134
Expenditure on R&D performed in-house 101,161 203,165 304,326
Expenditure on R&D contracted out 11,969 39,905 51,875