The Republic of Moldova is one of the few remaining countries in Europe that has not yet taken the Community Innovation Survey (CIS). Can this survey help Moldova identify the drawbacks and advantages of its national innovation system? This article establishes that CIS is indeed a useful tool for an initial diagnostic study. However, in a transitional economy, where little is known about innovation, CIS results must be complemented with open-ended questionnaires. It is found that, even though the innovation output is relatively high compared to other developing countries, Moldova is stuck in Rothwell’s first generation model of innovation. Moreover, as resources are not readily available for purchasing new technologies, the government and private companies can work towards encouraging a knowledge infrastructure that promotes organizational and management innovations.