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Results of the 4th Community Innovation Survey (CIS 4) in Portugal

The Observatório da Ciência e do Ensino Superior (OCES) presents the summary of the main results of the 4th Community Innovation Survey (CIS 4) in Portugal, concerning business innovation activities for the period of 2002-2004.

This survey, conducted in every EU member states under the guidance of Eurostat, is the main statistical instrument for data collection on business innovation, focusing on issues such as: innovation expenditure, its financial results, innovation effects, sources of information, main obstacles and public financial support.

- Four out of ten enterprises in Portugal were innovation active between 2002 and 2004 -

Four out of ten enterprises in Portugal performed innovation activities between 2002 and 2004 (Chart 2). Innovation active enterprises spent EUR 2,827 millions on innovation, which represents 2% of their turnover. 70% of that amount was allocated to the acquisition of machinery, equipment and software and 24% to R&D activities (intramural and extramural).

In average, about 21% of total turnover of enterprises with product innovation resulted from those products.

- Enterprises settled in the Lisboa and in the Centro regions innovated more than enterprises in other regions-

The share of innovation active firms is above the national average in the Centro (46%) and the Lisboa regions (44%). Some of the peripheral regions like Algarve and Madeira revealed the lowest values of this indicator (29% and 33%, respectively).

Considerable differences among the several economic sectors in the percentage of innovation active enterprises

The highest proportion of innovation active enterprises can be found in the services economic activities of Research and Development (100%), Post and telecommunications (78%), Computer and related activities (75%) and Technical testing and analysis (74%). Three industrial activities come next: Chemical industry and petroleum (65%), Electrical and optical equipment (56%) and Electricity, gas and water supply (55%). On the other extreme, Textile and Leather are the least innovative industries (27% and 28%, respectively).

- One out of ten innovation active enterprises received public funding -

Among the total innovation active enterprises, one out of ten received some kind of public funding. The industrial sector presented a larger percentage of enterprises benefiting from this type of funding (13%) than the service sector (8%). During this period, the Centro and Alentejo regions presented the largest proportion of innovation active enterprises benefiting from public financial support (16% and 14%, respectively). One out of four innovation active enterprises with 250 or more employees received some kind of public financial support for innovation, in contrast with the enterprises with 10 to 49 employees where the proportion is one out of ten.

- Lack of knowledge was the main obstacle to innovation in Portugal -

The Competitors or other enterprises in the same sector were indicated as the main source of useful information for the development of innovation projects (29% of innovation active enterprises considered this source as “highly important”). Institutional sources, such as the Government or public research institutes as well as Universities, were cited as “highly important” by 18% and 19% of innovation active enterprises, respectively. On the other hand, only 8% considered the Internal sources within the enterprise or enterprise group as a “highly important” source of information.

The knowledge factors (Lack of information on technology, Lack of information on the markets, Lack of qualified personnel and the Difficulty in finding cooperation partners) were cited as the main obstacles of innovation activities both by innovation active and non innovative enterprises.

It is important to point out that the economic factors (Lack of funds within the enterprise or group, Lack of outside funds and Innovation costs too high) were the obstacles less cited as “highly important”.

- Cost reduction was the main effect of innovation -

The reduction of costs, either through the Reduction of materials and energy consumption, or through the Reduction of labour costs, were pointed out as “highly important” by 25% and 18% of innovative enterprises, respectively, and they were the main effects of innovations introduced by enterprises.


CIS 4 was carried out by OCES, which is INE (The National Statistical Office) legally assigned agency for the Community Innovation Surveys implementation in Portugal. The survey was launched on an on-line platform specially designed for this statistical operation and occurred between June and November 2005.

The sample was stratified by 2-digit classification of economic activities (except for groups 742 and 743, that have a 3-digit classification), by size class of enterprises (number of employees) and by region (NUTS II). The selected enterprises belonged to economic activities from sections C to K of NACE – Rev. 1 and had 5 or more employees (the results presented only consider the enterprises with 10 or more employees).

A stratified sample of 7,370 enterprises, representing a total population of 27,797, resulted in a response rate of 74.3%.

Daniel Ferreira | alfa
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