Innovation in EU: Uneven progress among member states

The EU’s innovation performance last year continued to grow despite somewhat uneven progress observed around Europe. This is one of the main findings of the latest Innovation Scoreboard published yesterday (20 June) by the European Commission.

The annual Scoreboard provides a comparative assessment of the research and innovation performance in EU.

Overall, innovation performance has improved in 15 countries, though large differences exist between these Member States.

Sweden remains the innovation leader while Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria and UK are the fastest growing innovators. In a global perspective, the EU is catching up with Canada and the US, but South Korea and Japan are pulling ahead. China shows the fastest progress among international competitors.

Belgium is well above the average among EU Member States and is a leader in innovation linkages and collaboration.

“EU industry continues to innovate, but we are still lagging behind global innovation leaders,” said Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, added that, EU is going to “gear up support to breakthrough innovators through the pilot European Innovation Council under the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation framework programme.”

The measurement framework is composed of 27 indicators, distinguishing between ten innovation dimensions in four main categories. The Scoreboard confirms that the most innovative countries perform best on all measures. To achieve a high level of innovation performance, countries need a balanced innovation system performing well across all dimensions.

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