Community Innovation Survey - Access to microdata

Community Innovation Survey (CIS)

Description of the dataset

The Community Innovation Survey (CIS) is the reference survey on innovation in enterprises. The EU Member States first introduced the survey in 1992 and since then it has become the regular biennial data collection. At present, the survey is carried out in the EU, EFTA and the EU Candidate Countries. The legal framework for CIS since 2012 is the Commission Regulation No 995/2012 that establishes the quality conditions and identifies the obligatory cross-coverage of economic sectors, size class of enterprises and innovation indicators.

In order to comply with the Regulation requirements and also to respond to the needs of various users, Eurostat together with the countries develops for each round a standard questionnaire – Harmonised Data Collection (HDC). In addition to core mandatory questions, each survey wave includes voluntary variables e.g. environmental benefits of innovation. CIS questionnaires are available on CIRCABC site. The microdata follow in general the structure of the HDC.

The CIS is designed to provide information on the innovativeness of business economy sectors, to enable the analysis of innovation drivers or barriers or to assess the innovation outcomes. The survey focuses among others on the following aspects:

  • product innovation (new to firm; new to the market)
  • business process innovation
  • innovation development
  • innovation activities
  • innovation expenditure
  • turnover from innovative products
  • incentives for implementation of innovation
  • innovation cooperation
  • source of financing of innovation
  • sources of information on innovation
  • barriers of innovation
  • etc.

CIS for scientific purposes

CIS microdata sets are available for research purposes in two forms: as scientific-use files (SUF - partially anonymised data) and as secure-use files in the Safe Centre (SC) at Eurostat's premises in Luxembourg (or available remotely via accredited end points). SUF (or anonymized microdata) have some variables recoded into broader groups and others perturbed. The secure-use files are not subject to any perturbation. The table below lists the perturbations and provides the availability of data by NUTS and NACE in both files.

Main characteristics of SUF and SC files

Variables SUF  SC

NUTS 0: all survey rounds



NUTS 0 : CIS3 to CIS2012
NUTS 1 : CIS2014 - majority of countries); CIS2016 and CIS2018 - all the countries
NACE 2 digit or groups of 2-digit 4 digit 
Number of employees/persons employed 4 broad size classes (10-49, 50-249, 250-500, over 500)
Employment growth
No perturbation/recoding
Country of head office of enterprise 3 categories (Home country, other EU, EFTA or CC country, rest of the World) No perturbation/recoding
Turnover Absolute values perturbed (microaagregation within NACE*size class category)
Turnover growth
No perturbation/recoding
Expenditure on innovation and other activities Values expressed as a share of Turnover No perturbation/recoding
Remaining variables No perturbation/recoding

No perturbation/recoding


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