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Series: CIS


Title Community Innovation Survey


The Community Innovation Survey (CIS) is a survey of innovation activity in enterprises. The harmonized survey is designed to provide information on the innovativeness of sectors by type of enterprises, on the different types of innovation and on various aspects of the development of an innovation, such as the objectives, the sources of information, the public funding or the expenditures. The CIS provides statistics broke down by countries, type of innovators, economic activities and size classes. The survey is currently carried out every two years across the European Union, some EFTA countries and EU candidate countries. In order to ensure comparability across countries, Eurostat, in close cooperation with the countries, has developed a standard core questionnaire starting with the CIS3 data collection, along with an accompanying set of definitions and methodological recommendations. The concepts and underlying methodology of the CIS are also based on the Oslo Manual — second edition of 1997 and third edition of 2005.

Data Version

Data Publisher

  • Eurostat


  • Economics
    • Economic Conditions and Indicators
    • Economic Systems and Development
    • Income, Property and Investment / Saving


Geographical Coverage

European Union, some EFTA countries and EU candidate countries: from most Member States in CIS 1 to 31 countries in CIS2010 (all EU Member States (except Greece), Iceland, Norway, Croatia, Serbia and Turkey)


All enterprises in NACE Rev.2 sections A to M

(there are some changes in the coverage between CIS rounds and countries)


The target population is broken down into strata for sampling purposes. The variables used for this are size (according to number of employees) and activity classification (NACE), as these two variables are highly correlated with innovation activity. The size classes should include at least the following 3 breakdowns:
- 10-49 employees (small),
- 50-249 employees (medium-sized)
- 250 + employees (large).
A more detailed size-band system is sometimes used, but these fit inside the above size classes. Stratification by NACE Rev1.1 or NACE Rev 2 is in general by 2-digit level (division) or groups of divisions, with NACE Rev 1.1 codes 74.2 and 74.3 as exceptions. Some countries used to stratify their target population by region, i.e. NUTS 2 level. The sampling frame to be used for the sample is mostly the official national statistical business registers. Countries generally carry out a stratified sample survey in order to collect the data, while a number of countries use a census. Most combine both: stratified sample and census.

Data Collection

At the national level, data are mainly collected via mail or online surveys but some countries choose also other collection methods as face to face and phone interviews. Reminders/recalls to enterprises are use to reduce non-response errors.

Data Access

Access Conditions

Access to CIS microdata is granted for scientific purposes only. To apply for access to Eurostat's microdata, researcher’s organization must first be recognized by Eurostat as a research entity a university, research institution or research department in public administration, bank, statistical institute etc. There are two types of microdata access:

1.) to confidential data as obtained from the national authorities - access to these data is only possible at the Eurostat SAFE Centre.

2.) to anonymised microdata sets extracted from the above data -access is via distribution of encrypted CD-ROMs. 

An authorized researcher has the right to use the Community Innovation Survey microdata for an agreed research project. This possibility depends on overall microdata availability at Eurostat (CIS microdata provisions are voluntary), Member States' willingness to allow the CIS microdata to be offered for the research use and the permission for using the data for the particular research project. Before entering to the SAFE Centre the researcher has received and read the Eurostat Manual on the protection of confidential data; has signed the Commitment on statistical confidentiality; has received service card and personal access card for the SAFE Centre; has been furnished by the user ID and a password and has been personally briefed by Eurostat's legal service and the Unit in charge of the CIS data, Unit Innovation and information society. 

More information available at

Access Form

Research Proposal Form

Access Contact

Data Service

The metadata for CIS were prepared as part of the Data without Boundaries project by:

CIS3 and CIS2008: Social Science Data Archives (ADP), University of Ljubljana

Person to contact: Sebastian Kocar (,

CIS4 and CIS2006: Romanian Social Data Archive, University of Bucharest

Person to contact: Adrian Dusa (


Comparability between Countries

In order to ensure comparability across countries, Eurostat, in close cooperation with the EU Member States and other countries, has developed a standard core questionnaire for each CIS round, with an accompanying set of definitions and methodological recommendations.


The CIS is published by Eurostat, however data collection is in the hands of the National Statistical institutes. In accordance with section 7(4) of the Annex to Commission Regulation No 1450/2004 on innovation statistics, metadata should also be sent as part of the Quality Report. This will include key quality indicators such as non-response rates, coefficient of variation, etc. The CIS Quality Report template has been developed in agreement with the participating countries. It conforms to the ESS Standard for Quality Reports as well as the methodological concepts and requirements set out in the Oslo Manual and the EU legislation on innovation statistics. A high degree of harmonisation in concepts and methods has been achieved through the adoption of Commission Regulation No 1450/2004 and the Oslo Manual for the compilation of innovation statistics. However, countries may deviate from the harmonised CIS questionnaire by introducing additional questions and/or modifying the existing questions in order to satisfy specific national needs.


Eurostat 2014. Results of the second community innovation survey (CIS2) (inn_cis2) Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS). Available at: link.

Eurostat 2014. Community Innovation Survey (CIS): Description of dataset. Available at: link.