Europe is closing the innovation gap with the USA and Japan, but there are big performance differences between EU Member States that are diminishing only slowly. At a regional level, the innovation gap is widening, with performance having worsened in almost one fifth of EU regions. These are the main results of the latest Innovation Union and Regional Innovation Scoreboards, prepared by researchers at UNU-MERIT and published on 4 March in a joint press conference by three EU Commissioners.
Overall rankings in the EU are relatively stable, with Sweden at the top, followed by Denmark, Germany and Finland – the four countries that invest most in research and innovation. The countries whose position has improved the most are Portugal, Estonia and Latvia. Progress has been driven by the openness and attractiveness of the EU research system as well as business innovation collaboration and the commercialization of knowledge as measured by licence and patent revenues from abroad. However, growth in public R&D expenditure was offset by a decline in venture capital investment and non-R&D innovation investment in companies.
The annual Innovation Union Scoreboard provides a comparative assessment of the research and innovation performance of EU Member States and the relative strengths and weaknesses of their research and innovation systems. Additionally, the Scoreboard covers Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. On a more limited number of indicators, available internationally, it also covers Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the USA. The Innovation Union Scoreboard 2014 was prepared by Hugo Hollanders and Nordine Es-Sadki. The Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2014 was prepared in collaboration with Technopolis Consulting Group Belgium by Hugo Hollanders, Bianca Buligescu and Nordine Es-Sadki.
Source: UNU-MERIT: , 4 March 2014