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IndiGO – Measuring change in innovation capability

What is IndiGO?

IndiGO is a guideline-based instrument for the identification of the effects of projects and programmes on the innovation capability of organisations and, in particular, companies. The following aspects are considered as dimensions of innovation capability by IndiGO:

  • Human capital: knowledge, capabilities and skills, together with motivation of employees, commercial structures and processes of personnel development.
  • Structure capital: structures and processes in the organisation/company, which make it possible to carry out research and development or in-house innovations, or to obtain and process external information on R&D results or innovations. These structures and processes may be of an organisational or technical nature.
  • Relationship capital: external relationships of the organisation – such as with other companies, R&D institutions or education-providers, which enable the organisation (the company) to carry out R&D or innovations in cooperation, or to obtain and process external information on R&D results or innovations.


IndiGO does not primarily include immediate R&D results (e.g. publications, patents) or innovations (e.g. new products) such a project has achieved. It rather focuses on effects on the capability of a company to produce R&D results and/or innovations in future. In programme evaluations, IndiGO can therefore be used in addition to other instruments which consider such immediate project results (e.g. patents, new products).

For whom is IndiGO interesting?

IndiGO is of interest predominantly for all those responsible for publicly-funded programmes – such as representatives of public institutions which sponsor these programmes (e.g. ministries, programme-owners). It is aimed particularly at those responsible for such programmes which are (also) directed at companies. IndiGO can also be of interest for companies who want to analyse and improve their innovation capability.

How does IndiGO work?

IndiGO is a guideline for interviews. These interviews are, as a rule, conducted with experts (e.g. project managers, managing directors) who have implemented projects within the framework of publicly sponsored programmes. The interview takes place either in a direct discussion (face-to-face) or as a computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI); it lasts about one hour. The data are subsequently available in a format which can be used for statistical evaluations (IBM-SPSS©).

Why should IndiGO be used?

Publicly-supported programmes generally have effects with respect to the innovation capability of the supported or participating organisations (companies). As long as and insofar as these effects are not systematically recorded, the benefits of the programmes will remain undervalued. The use of IndiGO therefore makes a great contribution to making the actual achieved success of programmes transparent – which, in some respects, are possibly even unintended. Such effects on innovation capability – over and above the immediate project results – are also important in order to verify the sustainability of support measures.

What are some example results of IndiGO?

One result of IndiGO analyses is a consolidated view of project-holders in terms of the effects of the projects in the dimensions of human, structural and relationship capital. In addition to these overview data, IndiGO provides a great number of qualitative answers, which make it possible to confirm in detail the specific effects in the respective companies.

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