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Innovating businesses tend to be more internationally engaged and have more profit than non-innovators, Statistics New Zealand said today. However, innovators and non-innovators are similar in other performance measures, which shows a complex picture of innovation.
The main difference between innovators and non-innovators was not in total sales or productivity, but in profit. In 2011, innovators had twice as much profit per business as non-innovators.
“Yet these results only scratch the surface for understanding the relationship between innovation and performance,” business performance manager Hamish Hill said.
However, it is clear that innovating businesses are more engaged internationally than non-innovators. International engagement includes generating overseas income, and purchasing from overseas or producing overseas. Twice as many innovators as non-innovators performed these activities – 51 percent and 27 percent, respectively.
“We cannot say for sure that innovation causes international engagement, or vice versa, but we do know there is a strong link,” Mr Hill said.
The level of innovation activity has remained stable since 2009, at 46 percent. However, one-quarter of the businesses that innovated in 2011 did not innovate in 2009.
“The stable innovation rate has masked changes in businesses’ innovation activity,” Mr Hill said.
Innovation activity occurs when new or significantly improved goods, services, processes, or methods are introduced or developed. These include operational, organisational, or managerial processes, and marketing methods.
Innovation in New Zealand: 2011 showcases new analysis from the Business Operations Survey: 2011. The report includes comparisons of innovators and non-innovators across a selection of statistics, and further analysis of data already released.
The report and detailed tables are available from our website.