Glossary:Process innovation

A process innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved production or delivery method. This includes significant changes in techniques, equipment and/or software.

Process innovations can be intended to decrease unit costs of production or delivery, to increase quality, or to produce or deliver new or significantly improved products.

Process innovations include new or significantly improved methods for the creation and provision of services. They can involve significant changes in the equipment and software used in services-oriented firms or in the procedures or techniques that are employed to deliver services. Examples are the introduction of GPS tracking devices for transport services, the implementation of a new reservation system in a travel agency, and the development of new techniques for managing projects in a consultancy firm.

Process innovations also cover new or significantly improved techniques, equipment and software in ancillary support activities, such as purchasing, accounting, computing and maintenance. The implementation of new or significantly improved information and communication technology (ICT) is a process innovation if it is intended to improve the efficiency and/or quality of an ancillary support activity.

Related concepts

Statistical data


  • OECD/Eurostat, "The measurement of scientific and technological activities: guidelines for collecting and interpreting innovation data: Oslo manual", Third Edition, Paris, 2005 - pdf