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Innovation: main competitors outpace the EU
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Published on 01-02-11

The EU is failing to close the innovation performance gap with its main international competitors: the US and Japan, according to a key pan-European report on innovation performance. The report – the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2010 – also indicates that although the trends in most EU Member States are promising despite the economic crisis, progress is not fast enough. While the EU still maintains a clear lead over the emerging economies of India and Russia, Brazil on the other hand is making steady progress, and China is catching up rapidly.

    Innovation: main competitors outpace the EU

    Within the EU, Sweden is the most impressive performer followed by Denmark, Finland and Germany. The UK ranks high in the second group – the so-called "innovation followers". The United Kingdom outperforms the EU average on a number of the 25 indicators, with clear strengths in human resources and open, excellent and attractive research systems. However, the league champions score better on elements such as intellectual assets (e.g. patent and trademark applications or license and patents revenues from abroad). The results show that successful countries have a consistently high performance across all or most of the indicators.

    For the EU as a whole, the Innovation Union Scoreboard shows that it is not closing the gap with its main competitors – the US and Japan. The largest gap appears in terms of public-private co-publications, business R&D expenditures, and, compared to Japan, in PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) patents.  The gap is particularly large and rapidly increasing in license and patent revenues from abroad. This is an important indicator of economic dynamism. Overall, the EU27 is holding its lead over India and Russia. However, the EU27 is losing part of its lead over Brazil and, above all, over China, which continues to rapidly narrow the performance gap with the EU.

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    Last update: 02/02/2011  |Top