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Pandemic recovery the focus for EU's innovation performance

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Pandemic recovery the focus for EU's innovation performance

Photo © Alexander Raths - Fotolia

(BRUSSELS) - Europe's innovation performance continues to improve, surpassing the United States, an EU report said Tuesday, with the focus of research activities being on overcoming the coronavirus pandemic.

While the European Innovation Scoreboard 2020 finds improvement in innovation across the EU, it adds that more needs to be done to catch up with global innovation leaders like South Korea, Australia and Japan.

The results, which cover data from 2019, highlight opportunities to better coordinate EU innovation policies, help Europe improve its global competitiveness and strengthen the key role innovation plays in overcoming the coronavirus pandemic.

While the EU is a good place to do innovation, Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said: "we need to further step up efforts across the EU to find global solutions to contain the virus, and at the same time, help Europe's recovery from the crisis. More than ever, innovation is important since it lies at the heart of our efforts to beat the Coronavirus pandemic."

Key findings

Within the EU, innovation performance continues to increase at a steady pace. Since a few years, the performance among Member States has been converging, a trend that is growing.

  • This year's Scoreboard is marked by the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. This has had a small impact on the EU's average innovation performance, but has not affected the relative performance of Member States in relation to EU's global performance.
  • Sweden continues to be the EU Innovation Leader, followed by Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands. This year Luxembourg (previously a Strong Innovator) joins the group of Innovation Leaders, while Portugal (previously a Moderate Innovator) joins the group of Strong Innovators.
  • On average, the innovation performance of the EU has increased by 8.9% since 2012. Since 2012, innovation performance increased in 24 EU countries. Performance has increased the most in Lithuania, Malta, Latvia, Portugal and Greece.
  • At the global level, the EU has for the second year surpassed the United States. The EU continues to have a performance lead over the United States, China, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, and India. Since 2012, the EU's performance gap with South Korea, Australia and Japan has increased, while the EU's performance lead over the United States, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa has decreased. China has had the largest innovation performance growth rate amongst the EU's main competitors since 2012, growing at more than five times that of the EU.
  • In selected areas of innovation, the EU leaders are: Sweden– human resources; Luxembourg – attractive research systems; intellectual assets; Denmark – innovation-friendly environment; finance and support; Germany– firm investment; Portugal –innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises; Austria – linkages and collaboration; Ireland– employment impacts and sales impacts.

European Innovation Scoreboard 2020

EIS 2020 Methodology report

Questions and Answers on the European Innovation Scoreboard 2020


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