Important legal notice
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Economic development and cohesion
Economic development and cohesion - Banding together for prosperity
“Providing the signposts that key actors need to steer the knowledge-based economy towards full fruition.”

The problem

In 2000, the Lisbon European Council set an ambitious goal for the European Union: to become the world’s most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy by 2010. This goal is based on the assumption that such an economy, driven notably by education, technical innovation, and entrepreneurship, is a key to future competitiveness and quality of life. To monitor and steer this evolving process, EU policy-makers and economic actors need timely and reliable statistics and indicators. This requires the development and improvement of appropriate measuring tools. 

KEI  Indicators for a knowledge-based economy


The project ‘Knowledge Economy Indicators’ (KEI) aims to improve and develop such tools. It will examine the nature of a knowledge-based economy (KBE), the features it should have in order to boost EU competitiveness, and the types of policies needed in order to maximise its favourable impact. The main goals are to:

  • identify and evaluate indicators for measuring a KBE’s drivers, characteristics, and key outputs
  • fill gaps in the current range of useful indicators
  • develop methods for measuring progress towards set goals
  • conduct simulations, using scenarios based on different theoretical models and different policy mixes

Contribution to policy development:

  • The project will contribute directly to the EU’s Lisbon goals
  • The output will be useful to policy-makers and economic actors in the context of European efforts to increase public and private research funding in the EU to 3% of gross domestic product (GDP)
  • KEI is designed to accommodate changing policy needs in the course of the project

Project deliverables

Reports on:

  • available, selected, and key ‘missing’ KBE indicators, with target-country data – August 2005
  • current understanding of a KBE, a theoretical framework, an overview of relevant policies – November 2005
  • composite indicators, with novel approaches and a handbook of good practices – August 2006
  • indicator methodology; on monitoring requirements and solutions for missing indicators – November 2006
  • policy analysis; final report – February 2007


  • A project website, articipation in specialised e-fora, presentation of results in an e-newsletter – ongoing
  • Publications in peer-reviewed journals, a leaflet for stakeholders, preparation of three issues of Statistics in Focus (Eurostat) – ongoing
  • Organisation of workshops – ongoing

Technical information

Project acronym: KEI
Project’s official full title: Knowledge Economy Indicators: Development of Innovative and Reliable Indicator Systems
Research priority: Policy-oriented research, title 3.7 (Improved quality, accessibility and dissemination of European Statistics), tasks 1 (Development of and improvement of indicators for the knowledge economy) and 2 (Development of composite indicators of the knowledge-based economy)
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 502529
Start date: 01/09/2004
Kick off meeting: 6-7 October 2004
Completion date: 28/2/2007
European Commission scientific officer: Ian Perry (

Name: Ralf Münnich, Eberhard-Karls Universität Tübingen
Abbreviated name: UT
Address: Mohlstraße 36
72074 Tübingen
Country: Germany
Tel: +49 7071 29 -72 570
Fax: +49 7071 29 -55 46


Name: Joint Research Centre Ispra
Abbreviated name: JRC
Country: Italy

Name: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Abbreviated name: KUL
Country: Belgium

Name: University of Maastricht
Abbreviated name: UM-MERIT
Country: The Netherlands  

Name: Statistics Finland
Abbreviated name: StatFin
Country: Finland