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New Approaches to Measuring Innovation

Mark Marich

Last year’s report from the Department of Commerce’s Advisory Committee on Measuring Innovation (chaired by the Kauffman Foundation's Carl Schramm) has stimulated a lot of additional research on the thorny issues of how best to track innovation at the business, community, region, and national levels.

A new Athena Alliance report presents some alternative frameworks for measuring innovation. It focuses on developing tools to measure three key categories of intangibles: human capital, intellectual capital, and organizational capital.

Two separate frameworks are proposed. One approach emphasizes the firm level, and tracks factors such as employer-provided training and R&D spending. The second approach is investment-focused, tracking education spending, information technology spending, and other investments. The researchers do not offer any final conclusions, but instead focus on providing suggested metrics that can be utilized by other researchers.

Report: "Frameworks for Measuring Innovation" by Susan Rose, Stephanie Shipp, Bhavya Lal, and Alexandra Stone

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