Percentage Of NI Firms In Active Innovation Falls

Figures published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) have revealed a decline in the amount of firms in active innovation.

39% of businesses engaged in innovation activities in the period 2014-16, a figure down from 45% between 2012 and 2014.

The current level of innovation in Northern Ireland falls behind the UK figure of 49%, and the region is the least active country in the UK.

A comparison with GB regions showed NI had moved from the second least innovation active in the 2015 UK survey to the least innovative in 2017. The north East region had the next lowest rate at 42% whilst the south West had the highest rate at 52%.
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Large enterprises with 250 or more employees were more likely to engage in some sort of innovation activity with 58% of such NI businesses innovation active, as opposed to 38% of SMEs. This pattern held at the UK level (63% among large enterprises compared to 49% among SMEs).

This survey is conducted by The Office of National Statistics (ONS), with the UK-wide results published in a main report by The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The UK Innovation Survey 2017 is part of a wider Community Innovation Survey (CIS) covering a range of European countries. This is the tenth iteration of the survey covering the period 2014-16, providing information on the extent of business innovation, factors perceived to be limiting innovation, and the impact of innovation on businesses.


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