Navigation path

eu calender
What's in it for me?
Europe in the UK
The commissioners
EP in the UK
New Innovation Union Scoreboard: main competitors outpace the EU
E-mail this pageE-mail this pagePrintPrint

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. 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 (detailed information and graphs in Annex) 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.


    The full report is available


    The 2010 Scoreboard draws on 25 research and innovation-related indicators and covers the 27 EU Member States, as well as Croatia, Serbia, Turkey, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. The indicators are grouped into three main categories:

    - "Enablers", i.e. the basic building blocks which allow innovation to take place (human resources, finance and support, open, excellent and attractive research systems);

    - "Firm activities" which show how innovative Europe's firms are (firm investments, linkages & entrepreneurship, intellectual assets); and

    - "Outputs" which show how this translates into benefits for the economy as a whole (innovators, economic effects).

    The Scoreboard places  Member States into the following four country groups (see Figure 2):

    -  Innovation leaders: Denmark, Finland, Germany, Sweden all show a performance well above that of the EU27 average.

    -  Innovation followers: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Slovenia and the UK all show a performance close to that of the EU27 average.

    -  Moderate innovators: The performance of Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain is below that of the EU27 average.

    -  Modest innovators: The performance of Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania is well below that of the EU27 average.

    The performance of Innovation leaders is 20% or more above that of the EU27; of Innovation followers it is less than 20% above but more than 10% below that of the EU27; of Moderate innovators it is less than 10% below but more than 50% below that of the EU27; and for Modest innovators it is below 50% that of the EU27.

    Figure 1: EU Member states' innovation Performance pdf - 20 KB [20 KB]

    UK performance

    Figure 2. Indicator values relative to the EU27 (EU27=100). pdf - 19 KB [19 KB]

    Figure 3.Annual average growth per indicator and average country growth pdf - 15 KB [15 KB]


    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.
    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only 

    Last update: 01/02/2011  |Top