This is above the EU average and ahead of countries like France or the United States (the indicator also provides comparison with some non-EU countries).
The indicator was created at the request of EU leaders to benchmark national innovation performance and support policy-makers in removing bottlenecks that prevent innovators from translating ideas into successful products and services.
The league champions are Sweden, Germany, Ireland and Luxemburg. The UK comes in the second group of “very good performers” – above the EU average and ahead of countries like France or the United States (the indicator also provides comparison with some non-EU countries).
The proposed indicator is based on four components chosen for their policy relevance:
- Technological innovation as measured by patents.
- Employment in knowledge-intensive activities as a percentage of total employment.
- Competitiveness of knowledge-intensive goods and services. This is based on both the contribution of the trade balance of high-tech and medium-tech products to the total trade balance, and knowledge-intensive services as a share of the total services exports.
- Employment in fast-growing firms of innovative sectors.
The top performers score well on several or all of the following factors: an economy with a high share of knowledge-intensive sectors, fast-growing innovative firms, high levels of patenting and competitive exports. The UK has a strong position on the two indicators measuring employment in knowledge intensive industries and relative weight of knowledge intensive exports in all services exports. It scores only an average performance on the indicators that measure patents, dynamic innovative firms and the share of hi-tech exports in the overall trade balance of the country.