Extracts from the joint press conference by Antonio Tajani and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn on the outcome of the Innovation Union Scoreboard
Type: Summary of press conference
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 26 March 2013, Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship, and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Member of the EC in charge of Research, Innovation and Science, gave a joint press conference in Brussels to present the latest Innovation Union Scoreboard report (IUS) that benchmarks EU Member States' innovation performance and potential.
Ranking the Member States according to their performance, the IUS 2013 showed that innovation performance in the EU has improved year on year in spite of the continuing economic crisis, but the innovation divide between Member States is widening.
While the most innovative countries have further improved their performance, others have shown a lack of progress. The overall ranking within the EU remains relatively stable, with Sweden at the top, followed by Germany, Denmark and Finland. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are the countries that have most improved since last year. Drivers of innovation growth in the EU include SMEs and the commercialisation of innovations, together with excellent research systems. However the fall in business and venture capital investment over the years 2008-2012 has negatively influenced innovation performance.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Commission building
||Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship, and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Member of the EC in charge of Research, Innovation and Science, before the beginning of the press conference
||General view of the press conference room
||Soundbite by Antonio Tajani (in ITALIAN) saying that the results are not positive. The economic crisis has had a negative impact on innovation in some regions of Europe with grave consequences for growth. In order to keep on being globally competitive, it is necessary to focus above all on quality and not just on quantity. It means innovative products and services, creative entrepreneurs and a highly competitive industry are needed. Taking a look at some of this year's figures in detail, of the countries called "innovation leaders", Sweden is in first place, followed by Germany, Denmark and Finland. These are the EU's most innovative countries.
||Soundbite by Antonio Tajani (in ITALIAN) saying that without innovation, they will not achieve their goal of raising industry's contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 20%, a target they set in their new strategy on industrial policy. Research and innovation are at the heart of Europe's real economy.
||Soundbite by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn (in ENGLISH): We are broadly on track with our Innovation Union commitments. For example, the business environment in Europe will become more innovation-friendly thanks to Single Market measures, such as the unitary patent, faster standard setting, modernised EU procurement rules and a European passport for venture capital funds.
||Cutaway of a cameraman
||Soundbite by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn (in ENGLISH): Regional differences in innovation performance are widening. This trend must be reversed. It is a key challenge for the EU. So, whatthe Member States need to do? We set it out in the State of the Innovation Union Report which is available for you afterwards. I would summarise it in three words: invest, reform, transform. This year's Scoreboard is the first that gives us a real idea of the impact of the current crisis on investment. Taken on average over the last five years, it has actually proven very resilient; total public R&D spending for the 27 EU Member States as a group increased by 10% in nominal terms between 2007 and 2011. Business R&D expenditure in the EU was also 10% higher in 2011 than in 2007 in nominal terms. So, business clearly considers R&D as vital for future competitiveness and its confidence to invest is at least partially due to continued public investment in research.
||Cutaway of the audience