The European Commission has published its 2019 Innovation Scoreboard, ranking innovative progress in EU Member States.
The scoreboard, which gauges EU performance on innovation in comparison with that of other world powers and compares the relative performance of all Member States, shows that the EU has improved on research and innovation projects for the fourth year in a row, performing better than the USA for the first time. The EU remained substantially behind Japan and South Korea, however; and China demonstrated marked improvement in its ranking position. Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “Innovation equals future jobs and growth. I am happy to see general progress in the EU. Yet, to stay ahead in the global race, both the EU and our Member States need to continue investing and developing the right policies for innovation to flourish.”
The 2019 Innovation Scoreboard classifies Member States in four categories: modest innovators, moderate innovators, strong innovators and innovation leaders. Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden all fell under the ‘innovation leaders’ label, with Sweden declared the EU’s leader in innovation for 2019. Luxembourg and the UK, which had both been considered innovation leaders in previous scoreboards, dropped down into the ‘strong innovators’ category; while Estonia – previously classified as a moderate innovator – is now considered a strong innovator.
Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “The Commission’s Innovation Scoreboard is about best practices and measuring success. It helps Member States, regions and the EU as a whole to learn from each other and identify in which areas policy reforms are needed to boost Europe’s innovation leadership.”
Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu said: “The EU’s cohesion policy funds are a main driver for innovation and sustainable development. Startups and small enterprises help create new business models in the digital or green sector. However, innovation hubs can also grow in countries with less strong economies, and these findings help us support innovation in regional ecosystems, including in less developed regions.”