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Key Research & Innovation Indicators and Economic Analysis to Support Policy Making

The European Commission develops indicators and analysis to support Research & Innovation (R&I) policy making at three different levels. These are (1) Headline indicators for the highest political level, (2) Innovation Union scoreboard (IUS) indicators for ministers directly responsible for Research  and (3)  comprehensive set of indicators used for in-depth economic analysis published in The Science, Technology and Competitiveness (STC) Report and other analytical studies especially for expert use. These indicators provide an evidence-based overview of progress towards the realization of the Innovation Union and the European Research Area.

1. Headline Indicators (Europe 2020 strategy - European Council level)

Headline indicators, also referred to as Europe 2020 strategy indicators, monitor progress towards achieving the Europe 2020 strategy targets for the European Council. The current headline indicator for Research and Innovation monitors Europe's R&D intensity  (the 3% target). The European Council has asked the European Commission to develop an output based indicator to complement this input based indicator. On the basis of the options proposed by the High-Level Panel on the Measurement of Innovation, the European Commission proposes in its Innovation Union communication (p.30) the development of on an indicator measuring the share of fast-growing innovative companies in the economy. This indicator will become over time (as part of the Europe 2020 strategy) a new headline indicator used to benchmark the EU's performance against its main trading partners.

2. Core Indicators - Innovation Union Scoreboard (Competitiveness Council level)

Innovation Union Scoreboard's indicators monitor the research and innovation performance of Europe for the Competitiveness Council (Ministers in charge of Research, Innovation, Industry and/or Internal Market). This scoreboard is part of the European Commission Innovation Union communication.

3. Comprehensive Set of Indicators & Analysis (STC report and Analytical papers)

In addition to the headline and core indicators a more comprehensive set of indicators has been developed to enable in-depth economic analysis. In this regard the Commission Services produce Science, Technology and Competitiveness Report [STC] on R&D activities in Europe and the other main research intensive economies in the world. This report monitors in particular the progress towards the EU objective of investing 3% of GDP on research and innovation and the progress towards the achievement of an efficient ERA for a competitive European economy.

The STC key figures report 2008/2009 presents an integrated view of science and technology, analysing data on Europe's competitiveness and progress towards the ERA since 2000. The 2008/2009 report provides for the first time an overview of the evolution since 2000 of R&D investment in Europe and of progress on the six axes of the ERA Green Paper.As was the case in previous years, it also presents the latest data on scientific and technological output in Europe. The report provides answers to a number of questions, such as: Has Europe invested more in research since the Lisbon summit in 2000? Is Europe becoming a more attractive place to invest in research? Is Europe progressing towards a European Research Area and making its research system more competitive? Is Europe moving rapidly enough towards a more adaptable and knowledge-intensive economy?

Statistical data are collected and indicators developed on a continuous basis. Some of these indicators are presented in the Statistical Annex to the Report 2008/2009. Much of the statistical data used in the STC Reports is collected by Eurostat. EU Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) statistics are available free of charge from the Eurostat website under the theme "Science and Technology". Comprehensive statistical data are also available from OECD.

Key Figures reports:

Regional Key Figures reports:

Finally, extensive preparatory work on the setting up of the indicator framework has been carried out by the Expert Group on ERA indicators and ERA monitoring. The Directorate General for Research established this Expert Group to promote and contribute to the development of an evidence-based monitoring system at European level on progress towards the European Research Area and a knowledge-based economy. In 2009, the Expert Group delivered a final report and six thematic reports dealing with indicators and data development in relation to public R&D, corporate R&D, international scientific knowledge flows, international technology and industrial spillovers.