In collaboration with Poland’s Ministry of Economic Development, the World Bank designed and tested a new approach - "entrepreneurial discovery process (EDP)" - to help the authorities shift from a top-down to a bottom-up innovation policy that engages the private sector, science, and public administration, as part of "research and innovation smart specialization strategy-RIS3." The project should help Poland’s government to more efficiently invest 10 billion euro into innovation by 2020, mostly funded by the European Union.
The EDP consisted of (i) face-to-face interviews with the top management of mostly small and medium-size enterprises, which help to understand the real drivers and constraints to enterprise innovation that are hard to detect through standard surveys; (ii) Smart Labs, which are a series of business-friendly, time-efficient workshops that help assess the innovation potential of a specific economic activity; (iii) innovation maps, which help tease out information about technological trends perceived by the private sector; and (iv) crowdsourcing, online surveys that reach enterprises that usually do not interact with the public sector.
Firm-level interviews, documented here, are at the core of the EDP. Interviews aimed to identify key drivers for and constraints on small and medium-size enterprises innovation, identify the key attributes of companies that could benefit the most from public intervention, and take stock of key business and technological trends, as perceived by the companies.
More than 500 face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted by World Bank experts with companies' top management and/or owners during June 2014 - October 2015 in four regions of Poland: Dolnoslaskie, Zachodniopomorskie, Swietokrzyskie and Slaskie. Interviewed enterprises belonged to the 10 smart specialization areas selected by the Ministry of Economic Development as key priorities for Poland's innovation policy. The firms were selected using quota sampling method.
Kind of data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of analysis
- a firm
v01, edited, anonymized dataset for public distribution
The dataset comes from 511 interviews that World Bank experts conducted in 2014 and 2015 in 4 regions in Poland.
Four out of 16 Polish regions: Dolnoslaskie, Zachodniopomorskie, Slaskie, Swietokrzyskie
Unit of analysis
- a firm
Producers and sponsors
Ministry of Economic Development, Poland
European Regional Development Fund
The sampling frame is defined as all enterprises belonging to the 10 smart specialization areas selected by the Ministry of Economic Development as key priorities for Poland's innovation policy. The key challenge related to the sampling criteria is that definitions of the smart specializations are rather generic; thus it is not possible to precisely describe the composition of the population to which the survey applies. Furthermore, even if some assumptions are made to determine eligibility, there are no preexisting public sources containing listings of innovative firms. As a result, the survey adopts a quota sampling method, which is a non-random sampling approach. That is, units are selected into a sample on the basis of pre-specified characteristics so that the total sample has the same distribution of characteristics assumed to exist in the population being studied.
The survey sample is not random also because of the following project requirements:
1. It is focused largely on small and medium-size enterprises, in line with the request of the Ministry of Economic Development. Using stratified random sampling could have addressed the non-proportional distribution of the sample, but the distribution of companies in the smart specializations is not known. Therefore, the lack of a clear sampling frame does not allow this technique to be used.
2. It aims to focus on companies with a potential to be innovative and excludes firms such as restaurants, retail stores and household service establishments.
The project included in the sample a mix of companies with diverse characteristics and features that are considered important in the context of the innovation policy. Thus, the following minimum quotas were targeted:
1. Micro-enterprises (less than 10 employees) - 20 percent
2. Small and medium-size enterprises (between 10 and 250 employees) - 75 percent
3. Large enterprises (more than 250 employees) - 5 percent
No weighting was used
Dates of collection
Mode of data collection
The questionnaire had 100 questions (80 quantitative and 20 qualitative questions) based on a conceptual model of firm innovativeness. The questionnaire was modeled on a good international practice of enterprise and innovation surveys (such as the Eurostat’s Community Innovation Survey or the EBRD’s and World Bank’s Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey (BEEPS)), but was extended to focus on more qualitative, contextual, and open-ended "why" questions.
Experts hired by the World Bank
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Poland Ministry of Economic Development, World Bank. Poland Entrepreneurial Discovery Process Project 2014, Firm Interviews. Ref. POL_2014_EDPFI_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from [URL] on [date].
Disclaimer and copyrights
This material was produced with support from the World Bank. The findings, interpretation, and conclusions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank or the governments they represent.