In the currently rapidly changing business world, innovation has not only become the key to survival and success, but also the defining challenge of organisations. For latecomer firms, however, because of their inherent resource constraints, innovation has become a far more complex undertaking, similar to a multidimensional puzzle. Although there have been an increasing number of practitioner-based surveys, a discrepancy still remains between academia and industry concerning the role and importance of R&D in innovation. Therefore, this study carried out an industry-university-institution survey of Taiwan, based on a multidimensional framework of the innovation puzzle: human, R&D, flow and connection. The results reveal several interesting clues and provide a better understanding of the innovation puzzle for latecomers, and more importantly, resolves the puzzle that could help latecomers identify where new opportunities lie and what weaknesses they must strengthen.