Innovation Metrics Review

Date published:
30 September 2022

Innovation is essential for improving Australian productivity, living standards and creating new jobs. It is important that we measure innovation accurately.

Reliable data helps the government:

  • understand how the innovation system is performing
  • identify areas that need improvement
  • inform policy and program development  
  • evaluate and adjust its intervention strategies
  • drive better economic outcomes and improve the wellbeing of Australians.

Review objectives

Running from May 2018 to the end of 2019, the Innovation Metrics Review aimed to improve innovation measurement by the government to support better decision-making.

The Innovation Metrics Review Taskforce delivered a report to the government recommending:

  • an appropriate data and measurement infrastructure for capturing innovation metrics that:
    • is cost-effective
    • sets out a roadmap for change
  • a set of innovation metrics that:
    • accurately measure and communicate innovation performance and its impacts
    • is useful for government policy and program development
    • can measure the impact of government policy initiatives on innovation
    • may be compared internationally.

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering also undertook a literature review. This complemented the taskforce’s work and ensures recommendations meet the needs of all users of innovation data and metrics.

Review process

Stakeholder consultation and case studies

The taskforce consulted approximately 100 innovation system organisations and experts who identified gaps, issues and opportunities for innovation metrics. It also examined existing metrics and prepared case studies on specific sectors to help test the quality of data sources.

Discussion paper

We released a discussion paper in 2019 for public comment.

The paper provided an update on the review and summarised key issues identified during initial consultations. The process allowed a broader range of stakeholders to contribute and share issues.

International workshop

We held an invitation-only innovation metrics workshop in March 2019 in Canberra. Eminent leaders in innovation system measurement from Australia and overseas participated.

The workshop informed the review of international developments and shared ways to improve innovation measurement. Topics included entrepreneurship, hidden innovation and creative inputs into innovation.

Read the proceedings from the Innovation Metrics Review workshop [PDF 8.1 MB] [DOCX 6.6 MB]

Final report

Improving innovation indicators is the final report of the Innovation Metrics Review. This report was completed in late 2019 under the previous government. It was published on 30 September 2022.

Taskforce and committees

The taskforce was co-chaired by the department’s former Chief Scientist and Chief Economist. It consisted of officers from the department, as well as representatives from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and IP Australia. The taskforce worked closely with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

A steering committee and expert group of Australian and international experts assisted the taskforce.