Innovation Union Scoreboard
Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013 [15 MB]
Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013 shows EU more innovative, but gap between countries widening
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. More detailed information is provided in the press release and in the memo.
Who are the innovation leaders in the European Union?
Based on the Summary Innovation Index, the Member States fall into the following four country groups:
- Innovation leaders: Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Finland, all show a performance well above that of the EU average.
- Innovation followers: Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, the UK, Austria, Ireland, France, Slovenia, Cyprus and Estonia all show a performance close to that of the EU average.
- Moderate innovators: The performance of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Greece, Slovakia, Hungary, Malta and Lithuania is below that of the EU average.
- Modest innovators: The performance of Poland, Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria is well below that of the EU average.
EU Member States’ innovation performance
Note: Average performance is measured using a composite indicator building on data for 24 indicators going from a lowest possible performance of 0 to a maximum possible performance of 1. Average performance reflects performance in 2010/2011 due to a lag in data availability.
The annual Innovation Union Scoreboard provides a comparative assessment of the research and innovation performance of the EU27 Member States and the relative strengths and weaknesses of their research and innovation systems. It helps Member States assess areas in which they need to concentrate their efforts in order to boost their innovation performance. In addition, the Scoreboard covers Croatia, Serbia, 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 US. Every two years the Innovation Union Scoreboard is accompanied by a Regional Innovation Scoreboard. The calculation and measurement of the innovation performance are explained in the Innovation Union Scoreboard – methodology report 2010 [338 KB] and the data for individual indicators can be found in the IUS2013 database [2 MB] .
Check out the evolution over years for each country or each indicator on the interactive IUS Dashboard.
Lessons from a Decade of Innovation Policy, What can we learn from TrendChart and Innovation Union Scoreboard
The study draws lessons from the comparison of policies for Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) in EU countries between 1999 and 2012 – as recorded by the Erawatch/TrendChart inventory – and of the innovation performance of these countries over the same period – as measured by the Innovation Union Scoreboard.
What can be said about the relevance, appropriateness and effectiveness of those policies? Read the analysis in the full report [3 MB] or focus on the conclusions in the executive summary [336 KB] . Key lessons are the following:
- Countries should be encouraged to develop their own specific policy models– Five policy mix groups have been identified and the groups sometimes include countries with very different innovation performance. Policies do not necessarily respond to country specific challenges and could be made more effective with some degree of reorientation. The promotion of “best practises” across Europe with sometimes little consideration for the national conditions should be avoided or, at least, the measures should be carefully customized beforehand.
- Funding remains concentrated on science and technological research– There is a trend to implement thematic programmes, to introduce more competition in the access to RDI support and to work on non-technological innovations but altogether funding is still targeted at science institutions and technologies.
- Innovation policies to foster industry-science collaboration seem to be effective– There is a positive correlation between funding devoted to foster industry-science linkages and overall performance in terms of “industry-science collaboration”. However such collaboration first requires building RDI capacities both in universities and businesses; otherwise supporting collaborative approaches may be premature. This might the case for instance in modest or moderate innovators where capacities are often weak. Efforts should rather be put on directly upgrading their respective capacities, instead of aiming at collaboration in the first place.
- Mixed impact of grants to support business innovation– The analysis tends to indicate that grants are less effective than loans and other financial instruments, or than support to start-ups or venture capital to raise the innovation performance of SMEs. However it cannot draw any strong conclusion in this respect.
This assessment is too important to stop there and we are making available the whole database [12 MB] of policy measures, so that anyone can continue the analytical work undertaken in this respect. Questions for clarifications should be sent to the unit Innovation Policy for Growth of the Directorate General Enterprise and Industry.
For older studies carried out in the context of INNO-Policy TrendChart and INNO-Grips, please send an e-mail to the unit Innovation Policy for Growth.