Berkeley Innovation Index, A New Concept for Measuring Innovation

The Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology recently released the first version of a Berkeley Innovation Index (BII) Concept Paper. Developed by a eclectic team of psychologists, engineers and entrepreneurs, this index aims at bringing new insights and possibilities for innovation measurement. Read the full BII concept paper here.


Innovation is widely recognized as an important variable to create competitive advantage and drive economic growth. Innovation is also a relatively vague concept, but the absence of it results in stagnation and loss of competitive behaviors. Innovation capability is the ability to be innovative, and is a characteristic of individuals as well as organizations. The issue with learning and executing “innovation” is that it is often removed from actual situations, too theoretical, not time-ordered, and not holistic.

In this concept paper, it contends that if innovation cannot be measured, then it is inherently difficult for any person or organization to improve their ability to be innovative. Most past measures have not been insightful or holistic. For example, the numbers of patents or the amount of money spent on R&D have not shown any causality with organizations’ ability to be innovative.

BII is a concept and an open project to offer simple yet powerful ways to measure innovation capability in a holistic sense.  These measures, models and tools are based on previously published research findings. The approach is also intended to cover layers of innovation that range from the following fields: 1) Strategy and Leadership, 2) Innovation Culture from an Organization’s Viewpoint, 3) Organizational Operations and Measures across functions, 4) Mindset: The Innovation DNA of the People, and 5) Tactical measures.

When measured and considered across all levels, we believe that the innovation measurement process can be made more accurate and diagnosable.

To measure your own innovation measurement through BII, click here.

Published by Ikhlaq Sidhu

Ikhlaq Sidhu is the founding chief scientist of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology in the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley.

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