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Measuring innovation: Metrics and KPIs for success

In today's fast-paced and competitive business landscape, innovation has become a strategic imperative for organizations seeking to stay ahead of the curve. However, measuring the success of innovation initiatives can be a overwhelming task, as innovation is often abstract and multifaceted. This is where metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) play a crucial role, providing quantifiable measures to track and improve innovation performance. At NETO Innovation, we specialize in guiding organizations through the complexities of innovation management and funding. 


Unlocking the full potential of innovation requires more than just creative ideas and a forward-thinking mindset. To truly drive impactful and sustainable innovation, organizations must implement robust measurement frameworks that translate abstract concepts into quantifiable metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). By effectively measuring innovation performance, businesses can identify areas for improvement, justify strategic investments, track progress against goals, benchmark against competitors, and ultimately align their innovation efforts with overarching organizational objectives. In this blog, we explore the critical role of metrics and KPIs in promoting a culture of successful innovation, exploring the various types of measurements, best practices for implementation, and how leveraging European funding schemes can propel innovation initiatives to new heights. Join us as we navigate the intricate landscape of innovation measurement, empowering organizations to unlock their full innovative potential and gain a competitive edge in today's dynamic business environment. 


1. The need for metrics and KPIs 

Implementing effective metrics and KPIs for innovation is essential for several reasons. First, they help identify areas for improvement by revealing bottlenecks, inefficiencies, or untapped opportunities within the innovation process. Second, they provide justification for investments in innovation initiatives by demonstrating their potential impact and return on investment (ROI). Third, metrics and KPIs enable organizations to track progress and measure the success of their innovation efforts against predefined goals. Fourth, they facilitate benchmarking against competitors or industry standards, helping organizations understand their relative performance and areas for competitive advantage. Finally, aligning innovation metrics with organizational goals ensures that innovation efforts contribute to the overall strategic direction of the company. 

Failing to measure innovation effectively can have detrimental consequences. Without quantifiable data, organizations may struggle to allocate resources optimally, make informed decisions, or demonstrate the value of their innovation initiatives to stakeholders. Ultimately, this lack of measurement can lead to inefficient use of resources, missed opportunities, and a diminished competitive edge. 


2. Types of innovation metrics 

When it comes to measuring innovation, there are several types of metrics that organizations can consider: 

  1. Input metrics: These metrics focus on the resources dedicated to innovation, such as R&D spending, the number of patents filed, or the number of employee training hours devoted to innovation. 

  2. Process metrics: These metrics measure the efficiency and effectiveness of the innovation process itself, including time-to-market, cycle time, project success rate, and the number of ideas or concepts generated. 

  3. Output metrics: These metrics quantify the direct results of innovation initiatives, such as revenue from new products or services, market share gained, customer satisfaction levels, or the number of successful product launches. 

  4. Organizational metrics: These metrics assess the organizational culture, structures, and practices that support or hinder innovation, such as the level of collaboration across teams, employee engagement in innovation activities, or the ability to attract and retain top talent. 

It's crucial to select metrics that align with the organization's specific innovation goals and strategies. For example, a company focusing on incremental product improvements may prioritize process metrics, while a disruptive technology firm may emphasize output metrics like market share or revenue from new offerings. Additionally, different industries or types of innovation (e.g., product, process, business model) may require tailored sets of metrics. 


implementing innovation

3. Implementing innovation metrics 

Implementing effective innovation metrics and KPIs involves a structured process that should include the following steps: 

1. Define innovation goals and objectives: Clearly articulate the organization's innovation aspirations, whether it's developing groundbreaking products, optimizing processes, or creating new business models. 

2. Identify relevant metrics and KPIs: Based on the defined goals, select appropriate metrics that accurately measure progress and success. Involve cross-functional teams and stakeholders in this process to ensure comprehensive coverage. 

3. Establish baselines and targets: Determine the current state of performance (baselines) and set realistic yet ambitious targets for each metric, aligned with the organization's strategic objectives. 

4. Collect and analyze data: Implement systems and processes to consistently collect and analyze data related to the identified metrics, enabling data-driven decision-making. 

5. Communicate and act on insights: Regularly share findings with relevant stakeholders and take corrective actions or make strategic adjustments based on the insights gained from the metrics. 

6. Continuously review and refine metrics: Regularly review the effectiveness and relevance of the selected metrics and refine or replace them as needed to ensure alignment with evolving goals and strategies. 

Common challenges in implementing innovation metrics include data availability, consistency, and reliability, as well as securing buy-in and engagement from stakeholders across the organization. Addressing these challenges through robust data management practices, change management strategies, and continuous communication is essential for successful implementation. 

4. European funding for innovation 

Europe offers various funding programs and schemes to support innovation projects, such as Horizon Europe, the EIC Accelerator, and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). At NETO Innovation, we have extensive expertise in guiding organizations through the complexities of securing and managing European funding for their innovation initiatives. 


Metrics and KPIs play a crucial role in strengthening funding applications and demonstrating the potential impact of proposed innovation projects. By presenting well-defined and measurable goals, along with a clear plan for tracking and reporting progress, organizations can increase their chances of securing funding from European programs. 

For example, for a project aiming at developing a novel sustainable packaging solution for the food industry, and to increase chances of securing funding, the project team should follow metrics such as CO2 emissions reduction, material waste minimization, and cost savings for potential customers to showcase the environmental and economic impact of their innovation. These metrics are instrumental in securing funding and subsequently measuring the project's success. 


Measuring innovation through well-defined metrics and KPIs is essential for organizations to effectively track progress, justify investments, and make informed decisions regarding their innovation initiatives. While implementing effective measurement strategies can be challenging, seeking guidance from experienced professionals can simplify the process and ensure alignment with organizational goals and industry best practices. 

At NETO Innovation, we specialize in innovation management and European funding schemes, providing tailored solutions to help organizations navigate the complexities of innovation measurement and funding. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you in achieving innovation success through data-driven strategies. 


  1. "The Innovation Metrics: Defining and Measuring Innovation Success" Innovation Metrics: A Step-by-Step Guide to Measuring Success (  

  2. "Measuring Innovation: A New Perspective" OECD Publishing, Paris, (2010),

  3. "Creating Better Innovation Measurement Practices" by Anders Richtner, Anna Brattstrom, Johan Frishammar, Jennie Bjork, Mats Magnusson (2017) Creating Better Innovation Measurement Practices | Harvard Business Publishing Education 

  4. "The Innovation Paradox: Why Good Businesses Kill Breakthroughs and How They Can Change" by Davila T., Epstein M., (2014). The Innovation Paradox: Why Good Businesses Kill Breakthroughs and How They Can Change (BK Business) - Harvard Book Store 

  5. "Horizon Europe: The EU's key funding programme for research and innovation" by European Commission. Published by the European Union, 2021: 

  6. "Measuring Innovation: A Guide for Practitioners" by OECD. Published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2018: Concepts for measuring innovation | Oslo Manual 2018 : Guidelines for Collecting, Reporting and Using Data on Innovation, 4th Edition | OECD iLibrary ( 

  7. "Innovation to the Core: A Blueprint for Transforming the Way Your Company Innovates" by Skarzynski, P., & Gibson, R. (2008). Harvard Business Review Press: Innovation to the Core: A Blueprint for Transforming the Way Your Company Innovates | Harvard Business Publishing Education 

  8. "The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail" by Christensen, C. M. (1997). Harvard Business Review Press: The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail - Book - Faculty & Research - Harvard Business School ( 

  9. “Handbook of Innovation Indicators and Measurement”, by Fred Gault, Anthony Arundel, Erika Kraemer-Mbula, Edward Elgar Publishing, Sep 6, 2023 - Business & Economics: Handbook of Innovation Indicators and Measurement - Google Books 

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