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HomepageNordic countries lead the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2011

Nordic countries lead the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2011

Almost all Member States have improved their innovation performance according to the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2011. Nordic countries and Germany remain the innovation leaders with Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Finland all showing a performance well above that of the EU27 average.

The Innovation Union Scoreboard 2011 is the second edition of the Scoreboard, which replaces the European Innovation Scoreboard (published from 2001 to 2009). It provides a comparative assessment of the research and innovation performance of the EU27 Member States and the relative strengths and weaknesses of their research and innovation systems. In this way, it complements the Europe 2020 Annual Growth Survey and helps Member States assess areas in which they need to concentrate to boost their innovation performance.

The Innovation Union Scoreboard includes innovation indicators and trend analyses for the EU27 Member States, as well as for Croatia, Iceland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey. It also includes comparisons based on a more reduced set of indicators between the EU27 and 10 global competitors.

innovation scoreboard  2011A measure for a country’s innovation performance is provided by the Summary Innovation Index, which divides the Member States into four country groups:

  • Innovation leaders: Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Finland, all show a performance well above that of the EU27 average.
  • Innovation followers: Belgium, the UK, Netherlands, Austria, Luxembourg, Ireland, France, Slovenia, Cyprus and Estonia all show a performance close to that of the EU27 average.
  • Moderate innovators: The performance of Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic, Spain, Hungary, Greece, Malta Slovakia and Poland is below that of the EU27 average.
  • Modest innovators: The performance of Romania, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Latvia, and is well below that of the EU27 average.

Countries at the top of the ranking for the composite innovation indicator share a number of strengths in their national research and innovation systems with a key role of business activity and public-private collaboration.  While there is not one single way to reach top innovation performance, it is clear that all innovation leaders, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, perform very well in Business R&D expenditures. Most of the innovation leaders also perform very well in other innovation indicators related to firm activities. The top EU innovator Sweden dominates in three out of 8 innovation dimensions: Human resources, Finance and support, and Firm investments; while Germany and Denmark perform best in two innovation dimensions each.

innovation scoreboard  2011 convergenceThe growth in innovation performance has been calculated for each country and for the EU27 using data over a five-year period. All countries except Luxembourg and the UK show an absolute improvement in their innovation performance over time.

Bulgaria, Estonia, Romania, Portugal and Slovenia are the growth leaders with an average annual growth rate well above 5%. There continues to be a steady convergence, where less innovative Member States have – on average – been growing faster than the more innovative Member States. This convergence process however seems to be slowing down.

The INTERREG IVC programme also facilitates cooperation between more advanced and less developed regions in the field of innovation. This exchange of experience enables the less advanced regions to catch up and the more advanced regions to learn from the experience of others.

More information about the 36 running INTERREG IVC projects in the sub-theme ‘Innovation, research and technology development’ is available in the Approved Projects Database.

In addition, 39 good practices identified by these projects are included in the Good Practice Database. The main objective of this database is to allow local, regional and national policy-makers to access the ideas and techniques that have been successfully implemented by their European counterparts, and to contact the relevant people in the organisation to get further details on the conditions for transfer.

Sources and further information