The third innovation survey was carried out by Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) in 2005. It was organized in all countries of EU according to united methodology providing that enterprises employing more than 10 employees be comprised by a sample survey (this limitation did not apply to scientific research institutions and companies of market and public opinion research); branches where the survey was to be carried out were established. The survey was not carried out in branches as agriculture, fishery, hotels and restaurants, public administration, education, and health. The survey questionnaires were sent out to 3.7 thousand enterprises, 95% of which filled them and returned to CSB.
According to the data of the third innovation survey, 18% of Latvian enterprises offered new or substantially improved products (goods or services) to the market, or new, substantially improved technological processes were introduced in these enterprises within the period from 2002 to 2004. When comparing these results with the data of previously conducted surveys, a conclusion must be drawn that, although the number of innovative enterprises has increased, nevertheless, due to the growth of the total number of enterprises, the share of innovative enterprises has slightly decreased from 19% (in 2001-2003) to 18% (in 2002-2004). The results of surveys carried out in Lithuania and Estonia show that the share of innovative enterprises in these countries is considerably higher – 25% in Lithuania and 49% in Estonia.
Most technological innovations in Latvia were introduced in large enterprises with the number of employees 250 and more – 54% of the number of these enterprises were innovative. The share of actively innovative enterprises was 14% amongst small enterprises with 10 – 49 employees, and 27% in the group with 50 – 249 employees.
When comparing innovation activities in the sector of manufacturing and services, there is a conclusion that 17% of enterprises were active in manufacturing sector. The biggest share of innovative enterprises is in mining and quarrying – 24%, and in processing – 17%. Slightly more innovative was the sector of services – 18% of enterprises. The biggest share of innovative enterprises in the sector of services is in the branch of financial mediation – 43%. For comparison, 47% of enterprises in the sector of industry showed innovative activities in Estonia and 31% in Lithuania, while the corresponding figures in the sector of services were 51% in Estonia and 26% in Lithuania.
One of the indicators characterizing innovations is expenditure for innovations. In 2004, LVL 78 million, or 2% of net turnover of innovative enterprises were spent for innovations. Of total expenditure, LVL 40 million in the sector of industry and LVL 38 million in the sector of services were spent. The largest expenditure for innovations was in enterprises with 250 and more employees – LVL 20 million in the sector of industry and LVL 18 million in the sector of services. In total, LVL 59.6 million were spent for procurement of machinery and equipment necessary for innovations, LVL 10 million for purchase of external knowledge, LVL 4.5 million for research and development in enterprises, and LVL 3.5 million for outsourcing from other enterprises.
Over one-third of economically active enterprises of Latvia had active cooperation in the field of introduction of enterprises. 36% of innovative enterprises have cooperated with Latvian enterprises, and 23% with enterprises of other European countries.
The survey provided a summary of factors hindering the introduction of innovations. Within the period from 2002 to 2004, 40% of the number of enterprises that regarded that innovative activities in the enterprise were hindered indicated lack of information on the new technologies in the specified branch as the main reason of hindering, 35% - lack of information on the requirements of sales market, 29% - difficulties to locate cooperation partners in the field of innovations. The lack of qualified labour force in enterprises was mentioned as an important factor hindering innovations.
According to survey data, 19% enterprises where no innovations were made within the survey period regarded that the existing situation in product sales market does not require the introduction of innovations, and 13% of enterprises indicated that innovations are not necessary because they were introduced before the survey period.
Prepared by the Social Statistics Department