Innovation expenditure for 2018 estimated at €175m

Between 2016 and 2018, 865 enterprises employing at least 10 persons, or 37.6% of the surveyed enterprises, undertook innovation activity.

According to data published by the National Statistics Office, NSO, results of the Community Innovation Survey for the three-year period 2016 to 2018, show that 448 enterprises were engaged in both product and business process innovation, 313 enterprises were engaged in business process innovation only, 85 enterprises were solely engaged in product innovation, and 19 enterprises performed Research and Development only or had ongoing/abandoned their innovation activities.

Innovation expenditure for 2018 was estimated at €175 million. Innovation expenditure was predominant with a total of €122.7 million followed by intramural R&D amounting to €44.5 million.

Enterprises with the highest total expenditure were in information and communication,  financial and insurance activities and manufacturing amounted to 35.7, 25.6 and 16.3% respectively of the total expenditure.

The survey shows that 25.3% of all innovative enterprises indicated that they had at least one cooperation arrangement with other enterprises or organisation, with most enterprises, 49.3% had a combination of more than one cooperation partner.

Only 228 enterprises of the surveyed enterprises applied for an intellectual property right or licence. Most enterprises, 105 enterprises, applied for a trademark only. This was followed by enterprises that applied for more than one intellectual property rights, 66 enterprises and that used a trade secret only, 40 enterprises.

Most commonly high identified constraints to innovate included: excessive competition in the market, lack of skilled employees within the enterprise and exorbitant innovation costs.

Only 17.9% of the total innovative enterprises successfully obtained either equity or debt finance, and only one in every five of these enterprises used, partly or fully, these fundings for R&D or other innovation activities.

The number of innovative enterprises which had acquired technical services during the three years was 436, which amounts to 50.4% of the total innovative enterprises. Most enterprises acquired such services from private business enterprises only.

Conferences, trade fairs or exhibitions and information from professional or industry associations were the main channels used by enterprises to acquire knowledge.

Out of the total enterprises surveyed, 46.4% formed part of an enterprise group, of which 75.7% of these had their head office located in Malta while the remaining companies had their head office located in the European Union (EU), European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and rest of the world, amounting to 11.1, 1.0 and 12.2% respectively.