The article shows how new policy tools are designed in the Mediterranean countries for the monitoring of research and innovation. It relies on the results of a large European project, ESTIME, funded by the European Union that aimed at describing the state of research and technology policies and systems of partner countries in the Mediterranean. Other initiatives are also mentioned that aimed at gathering information on research and innovation systems in the Middle East and North African countries (MENA). The article presents the importance of the European Union as a reference for this monitoring activity. It also shows that the new tools, for example, innovation surveys, are a part of the policy process itself. Finally, it presents the main characteristics of public policies, their recent turn toward innovation and the effects that these policies have had on the institutions and actors promoting innovation which we propose to call the ‘innovation world’. Two examples are presented in more detail, Tunisia and Morocco, since both countries have been actively promoting innovation policies and have developed innovation surveys