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KEI -Development of Innovative and Reliable Indicator Systems

In the context of the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Commission, the project KEI (Knowledge Economy Indicators: Development of Innovative and Reliable Indicator Systems) started in September 2004. The KEI project is part of the Policy Orientated Research section of the specific programme Integrating and Strengthening the European Research Area.

The project’s aim is to develop and improve indicators for the knowledge economy, including the analysis of aggregation issues and the use of composite indicators. The project will cover indicators from 30 European countries (the EU-25 plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Romania, and Bulgaria) and six non-European countries (the US,Japan, India, China, Australia and Canada).

The KEI project will review existing concepts and definitions of the knowledge-based economy and its key components. It will develop main thematic areas in relation to the Lisbon and Barcelona objectives.

KEI will then use these themes to classify existing indicators and thoroughly explore data and indicator quality issues. Gaps will be identified and the way forward will be mapped, identifying innovative approaches to improve the understanding and appraisal of the knowledge economy. Composite indicators will be analysed in detail using both statistical and participatory approaches, including the use of multi-criteria methods, aggregation and weighting techniques, decomposition methods, and an evaluation of analytical and presentational techniques. Simulation methods will be extensively employed to investigate the robustness of indicators and the conclusions based on them. The study will evaluate the quality and accuracy of indicators and the underlying data and assess the innovative use of additional information to improve indicator quality.

The state-of-the-art analysis, as provided by KEI for the knowledgebased economy, will benefit other policy objectives of the European Union and Commission Services. It will contribute to a methodological framework for building effective measurements of interdisciplinary issues such as sustainability, employment, social cohesion, and economic disparities. KEI will also make recommendations for the design and use of statistical reference systems.

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