Innovation, Growth and Business Strategy: A PwC Global Survey

Breakthrough innovation and growth

The results of our survey of 1,757 executives couldn’t be clearer: innovation today is a key driver of organic growth for all companies—regardless of sector or geography. Meanwhile, innovation leaders are breaking away from their cohorts, expecting a revenue boost of a quarter-trillion US dollars over the next five years alone.

So what exactly are these innovation leaders doing differently? Explore the practices and lessons of innovators—starting with the Road to Growth below.

US Innovation Partner
Rob Shelton

Rob Shelton

Global Innovation Strategy Lead

+1 (408) 817 4251

UK Innovation Partner
David Percival

David Percival

Global Product Innovation Lead

+44 (0)20 7213 5663

Local contacts

Federico Servideo


Tel: +55 11 3674 3577

Philip Grosch


Tel: +1 416 814 5855

Huw Andrews

China, Hong Kong and Singapore

Tel: + 86 21 2323 2002

Peter Vickers


Tel: +33 1 56 57 86 66

Jean Christophe Saunières


Tel : +33 1 56 57 88 78

Sebastian Feldmann


Tel: +49 89 5790-5273

Steffen Gackstatter


Tel: +49 711 25034-5291

Rachna Nath


Tel: +91 22 66691539

Ramaswami Lakshman


Tel: +91 99800 27354

Andrea Samaja


Tel: +39 0266720555

James So


Tel: +81 3 5326 9090

Anil Khurana

Middle East

Tel: +97143043100 (ext. 3652)

Sander Kranenburg

The Netherlands

Tel: +31 0 88 792 53 09

Vera Oliveira Santos


Tel: +351 213 599 447

Alexander Ordinartsev


Tel: +7 495 967-6394

Hong-Ki Moon

South Korea

Tel: +822-709-0394

Raquel Garcés Sañudo


Tel: +34 915 684 647

David Skov


Tel: +46 0 723 530534

Matthias Memminger


Tel: +41 58 792 13 88


Explore the data

The global snapshot

View the global data snapshot for several key innovations questions we asked c-suite executives overseeing innovation from 1,757 companies to answer. Which innovative approaches will they take to drive growth? How will they make innovation happen within their companies?

The country snapshot

How important is innovation to the success of companies based in the emerging versus developed economies now or in five years time? View the data snapshot for companies across more than 25 countries. Build your own charts by comparing global data with country-specific data.

The sector snapshot

Which sector has the highest percentage of overall revenue spend on innovation? From automotive to utilities, view the data snapshot for more than 30 industrial sectors. Build your own charts by comparing global data with sector-specific data.

About the survey

For our survey—the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind exploring innovation from a global, multi-sector perspective—we drew on insights obtained from interviews with board-level executives with responsibility for overseeing innovation from 1,757 companies, across more than 25 countries and 30 sectors.

1,750+C-suite and executive-level respondents
25+countries where respondents had headquarters
30+industrial sectors of activity


For the purpose of our analysis, we segmented these companies based on a balanced scorecard calculated from their responses to the following six areas, which are explored in our study:


  • How important innovation is to their company
  • Their appetite for innovation (on a scale from "laggard" to "pioneer")
  • The proportion of annual revenue derived from major products?or services launched in the previous year
  • The proportion of annual revenue spent on innovation
  • The proportion of products and services co-developed with external partners
  • Their projected revenue growth over the next five years

From this scorecard, we then identified the top 20% innovators (359 companies), and the bottom 20% innovators (395 companies), enabling us to contrast their relative characteristics and experiences—and zero in on the strategies and tactics of the most-innovative group.

Industry focus

Managing innovation in pharma

The insatiable appetite of society, investors and patients for pharmaceutical innovation is linked to the breakthrough advances in science and technology by the innovation process. Managing small steps in that process can make a big difference.

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Using innovation to drive sustainable growth in the chemicals industry

In this report we talk about how companies can broaden innovation efforts beyond products and increase their innovation ambition. We also focus on getting the basics right, building and maintaining a strong innovation culture, and enhancing collaboration.

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The runway to growth

In this report, we look at how companies can use market understanding to drive efficient innovation in the aerospace, defence and security industry. We also discuss how companies can combat the “value erosion” that can happen in large-scale, long-term projects.

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Making innovation go further in metals

This report looks at how metals companies are faring in their innovation strategies and puts this in the context of the sector and other sectors. We also examine how companies could gain by widening their innovation focus.

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Gateway to growth: Innovation in the Oil and Gas Industry

We surveyed 66 oil and gas industry executives from 18 countries across the energy value chain, to find out how innovation is impacting their businesses. The oil and gas respondents in our survey anticipate faster revenue growth than nearly any other sector. Some of this growth may come from energy price increases. But for oil and gas, that is far from the whole story.

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Rethinking innovation in industrial manufacturing

In our work with industrial manufacturing clients, we see the critical impact of innovation up close every day. It’s one sector where innovation has a dramatic impact on not just...

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The highway to growth: Strategies for automotive innovation

We surveyed 72 automotive industry executives from 17 countries across the automotive value chain, to find out how innovation is impacting their businesses. We've found that the...

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Medtech companies prepare for an innovation makeover

The medical technology industry was on the forefront of innovation for decades, but now return on innovation investment is declining. The very notion of medtech innovation...

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Seizing the innovation edge: how TMT companies can harness breakthrough innovation to boost revenue

What qualities and practices set the leading innovators within the Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) industries apart from their...

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