The Commission launched a new innovation indicator this week, which the JRC helped develop.© Amr Safey (stock.xchng), 2007
Towards a new single innovation indicator
A new single innovation indicator, which the JRC helped develop, has been presented at this week's European Council Summit on 24 and 25 October. The indicator focuses on innovation output and measures the extent to which ideas from innovative sectors are able to reach the market, providing better jobs and making Europe more competitive.
The JRC investigated the conceptual coherence and the statistical robustness of the indicator by using self-developed state-of-the-art statistical methodologies to perform all the necessary simulations and validation tests aimed at improving the quality of the indicator.
The proposed indicator is based on the following four criteria: technological innovation as measured by patents, employment in knowledge-intensive activities as a percentage of total employment, competitiveness of knowledge-intensive goods and services, and employment in fast-growing firms of innovative sectors.
The indicator was developed at the request of EU leaders to benchmark national innovation policies. By honing in on innovation output, it will complement the indicator on R&D intensity foreseen by the EU's "Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth". It will support policy-makers to take new measures or reinforce existing ones to remove bottlenecks which prevent innovators from translating their ideas into successful products and services.
According to the new indicator, Sweden, Germany, Ireland and Luxembourg are the EU Member States getting the most out of innovation. A comparison with some non-EU countries shows that the EU as a whole does well. Switzerland and Japan have a clear performance lead, but the EU is more or less even with the United States on innovation output.
The new single innovation indicator complements the Commission's Innovation Union Scoreboard (IUS) and Summary Innovation Index (SII) which assess the innovation performances of Member States and the EU more widely, against a broad set of 24 innovation indicators including inputs, throughputs and outputs.