Good article by the Freakonomics gang the other day. They asked a handful of really smart people how innovation could/should be measured. As you can imagine, a consensus was not reached.
Sure, innovation is often the result of systematic R&D efforts, but sometimes it’s just dumb luck and unintended consequences (wasn’t Viagara originally intended for heart patients?) The beautiful, and maddening, thing about innovation is that it can come from anywher and anyone. I’m not sure how possible, or beneficial, it would be to try and quantify it.