Economic growth and the securing of jobs strongly depend on the companies' innovative ability. Innovation can thus refer to new or improved products, services, processes, organisational forms, markets, etc. Respectively, companies' competitiveness is thus not only determined by the performance of their products and services, but also by the corresponding production proc-esses. Production costs, delivery flexibility, or quality are important figures, too.
Several surveys try to monitor innovation activities of the economy, to identify backlogs of particular sectors or regions and to compare German economy to other countries. These surveys mainly focus on indicators for measuring product innovation. Process innovations are hardly taken into account or, if at all, then on a very highly aggregated level.
Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) has developed the survey Modernisation of Production in 1993 to close this gap and to complement existing surveys. In 2001, this survey went international and developed into the European Manufacturing Survey (EMS). The aim of EMS is to utilise a core questionnaire, in the respective language of the country, in all partner countries and to thus survey internationally comparable data allowing for internationally comparative analyses.