Measuring Public Innovation in the Nordic Countries (MEPIN)

Public sector innovation is now recognized as a vital factor in meeting the challenges of globalization and demographic changes, and at the same sustaining a high level of public services to citizens and businesses. However, efforts to better understand and to promote public sector innovation (PI) are greatly hindered by a great lack of quantitative evidence. This project seeks to remedy this by developing guidelines for data collection and the development of indicators that provide much needed inputs to analyze and promote PI. The list of participants comprises key Nordic institutions with expertise in innovation research and analysis, innovation measurement and innovation policy: CFA, DAMVAD, NIFU, RANNIS, Statistics Finland, Statistics Norway, Statistics Denmark and Statistics Sweden.

The first stage of the project involved the development of a preliminary conceptual and survey framework for measuring public sector innovation, drawing both on extensive reviews of earlier studies and related literature and also on empirical work conducted by the project in the five Nordic countries. This included meetings with key stakeholders from policymaking organizations and interest groups, and interviews with potential respondents from a variety of public sector organizations.

The work of the first stage of this project is documented through, in all, six papers:

  • The public sector in innovation systems (Markus M. Bugge, Johan Hauknes, Carter Bloch and Stig Slipersæter)
  • Towards a conceptual framework for measuring public sector innovation (Carter Bloch)
  • Survey methodology for measuring public innovation (Peter S. Mortensen)
  • Mapping user needs (Lydia L. Jørgensen)
  • Feasibility study of public sector organizations (Per Annerstedt and Roger Björkbacka)
  • Nordic survey on public innovation 2009 – draft pilot questionnaire

Based on this work, a pilot study was conducted among public sector organisations in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The results of the pilot studies and an assessment of the methodologies used are presented in "Report on the Nordic Pilot Studies – Analyses of methodology and results" (Markus Bugge, Peter S. Mortensen and Carter Bloch). The Final Report for the project synthesizes main results of the project and provides recommendations for future work on public sector innovation measurement.

For more information on the project and its deliverables, see:

Research Director Carter Bloch
Research Director Peter S. Mortensen