Abstract: Based on Schumpeterian theoretical considerations, this paper investigates the innovation behavior of firms during the severe economic crisis of the year 2008/2009. It focuses on transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which have completely restructured their innovation systems through the course of transformation from planned to market economies a relatively short time ago. As a result of the crisis, we observe a strong decline of innovation activity in all transition economies. In line with the literature, there is, however, empirical evidence for both creative destruction as well as creative accumulation. This underlines two key findings: firstly, the universality and durability of Schumpeterian assumptions, and secondly, a call for anti-cyclical innovation policy.