This article identifies selected aspects connected with so-called innovation approach to the long waves in the context of the tradition of searching economic cycle theories. Since the end of the 19th century a great number of the long wave concepts has been developed, in particular we can point out the key works by Kondratieff and Schumpeter. The key role in the important line of efforts to clarify the mechanism through internal reasons is given to the innovations. Among outstanding successors of this 'Schumpeterian' approach, Mensch and Valenta have been classified. Despite the non-standard concept, despite some problematic aspects and not fully detailed elaboration the instrumentarium of the long waves can be considered as a useful tool, for instance, for clarification of the background of the historical events, ideas on globalization and for the development predictions.