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Introduction to Innovation Indicators

Clemens Blümel will present you the topic of the last part of this week and the learning outcomes.
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© This work by Clemens Blümel is licensed under CC BY 4.0.

The goal of this week is to introduce you to the topics and terminologies of innovation indicators, how research and innovation is currently measured (particularly on the national level) and what the challenges are in measuring innovation in the digital realm.

The monitoring of research and innovation was established in the 1960s with the aim to support of supporting the strategic planning of public research and technology policy. Since then, central indicators of structural research and innovation performance were measured and methods for reporting were continously improved.

Innovation indicators are, however, focused on a rather narrowly defined set of outputs (such as patents) and particularly on established venues of scholarly communication.

Yet, the digital transformation in research and innovation changes how knowledge is produced and disseminated. Innovation activities take place partly outside the world of journals. What is more, with the emergence of Open Science and Open Innovation, there is the aim to make more and different types of (scholarly) output accessible and visible.

In order to reflect the changing nature of research and innovation in the digital age, it appears necessary to take new data sources and new actors for monitoring purposes into account. In particular, novel types of process generated data emerging from interaction on digital platforms and social media should be critically reviewed in this regard.

While an established set of indicators does not currently exist, this week we will discuss which data sources may be chosen for further exploration and what the potential of monitoring research and innovation are.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this lecture, you will be able to understand:

  • why research and innovation is monitored and measured,
  • which kinds of indicators exist,
  • what is measured and which data are used,
  • what potential shortcomings of research and innovation indicators in the digital age are.

Structure of the Module

In order to achieve these goals, the module “innovation indicators” provides the following resource:

  • An introductory video providing an overview of why, how, and what aspects of innovation are covered.
  • A video elaborating in more detail why complementary measures of innovation indicators are needed in the digital realm, and which data sources appear to be relevant.
  • An accompanying text for linking the two sets of papers.
  • Additional learning resources: multiple choice questions and recommendations for further reading.
© This work by Clemens Blümel is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
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