EC: 2019 Innovation Scoreboard reflects that the innovation performance of the EU is increasing

The European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) was presented by the European Commission on the 17th of June.

This report, published annually, provides a comparative assessment of research and innovation performance across the EU. The data helps Member States, regions and the EU to assess relative strengths and weaknesses of national research and innovation systems and the industry to understand the EU and national eco-systems for R&I.

The EIS covers the EU Member States, as well as Iceland, Israel, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine.

Based on their scores, EU countries fall into four performance groups:

  • Innovation Leaders – Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden perform 20% or more above the EU average;
  • Strong Innovators – Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom perform above or close to the EU average;
  • Moderate Innovators – Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain show an innovation performance below the EU average;
  • Modest Innovators – Bulgaria and Romania perform below 50% of the EU average.


The EIS is composed of ten dimensions:

  • Human resources
  • Attractive research systems
  • Innovation-friendly environment
  • Finance and support
  • Firm investments
  • SME innovators
  • Linkages
  • Intellectual assets
  • Employment impacts
  • Sales Impacts

Key drivers of innovation

The most innovative countries perform best on all measures. Countries with above average shares of high-tech industries tend to perform better on many EIS indicators. In order to achieve a high level of innovation performance, countries need a balanced innovation system, performing well across all dimensions.

They need an appropriate level of public and private investment in education, research and skills development, effective partnerships between industry and academia, as well as an innovation-friendly business environment, including strong digital infrastructure, competition on the markets and efficient allocation of resources.


Improvement and weakening

In comparison to the previous year the 2019 EIS demonstrates that the EUs performance has improved the most in the following dimensions: Innovation-friendly Environment (notably broadband penetration), Human resources (notably Doctorate graduates), Firm Investments and Attractive research systems (international co-publications) and the increased investment by venture capital.

In contrast, Innovators (product, process, organisational and marketing innovation) witnessed the biggest decrease.


EU performance compared to other countries

At the global level, the EU has surpassed the United States for the first time.

The EU’s performance lead over Brazil, India, Russia, and South Africa remains considerable, but China is catching up at three times the EU’s innovation performance growth rate.

Canada, Australia, Japan, maintain a performance lead over the EU.

Relative to Japan and South Korea, the EU has been falling behind, and the performance gap is expected to further increase in the coming years. South Korea is the most innovative country, performing almost 37% above the performance score of the EU.


Source: European Commission


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