The 2008 economic crisis has severely reduced the short-term willingness of firms to invest in innovation. But this reduction has not occurred uniformly and a few firms even increased their investment in spite of the adverse macroeconomic environment. This paper, based on the latest three waves of the UK Community Innovation Survey, compares drivers of innovation investment before and during the crisis. We find that the crisis led to a concentration of innovative activities among fast growing and already innovative firms. The companies in pursuit of more explorative strategies towards new product and market developments are those to cope better with the crisis.