Based on results from the latest European Innovation Scoreboard, the innovation performance of EU member countries has grown 5.8 percentage points since 2010. Notably, there has yet to be any convergence between EU countries with lower innovation rates and those with higher rates.

Innovation leaders include member states that have an innovation performance rate that is 20% higher than the rest of the EU. On the most recent Scoreboard, the leaders are Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and Slovenia are strong innovators, which are defined as EU member countries with an innovation performance between 90% and 120% of the EU average. Moderate innovators perform between 50% and 90% of the EU average, and this group is represented by  Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain. Lastly, modest innovators perform below 50% of the EU average, and include Bulgaria and Romania. Data indicate that performance levels are geographical, with all innovation leader countries in the northern and western parts of Europe, while moderate and modest innovator countries are mostly in the southern and eastern regions of the continent.

Eighteen member states’ innovation performance levels increased between 2010 and 2017, while 10 member states’ levels dropped. Lithuania experienced the largest increase of 20.1 percentage points, with the Netherlands and Malta following behind with respective growth of 15.9 and 15.2 percentage points. In contrast, Romania’s innovation performance dropped 14.0 percentage points, while Cyprus and Estonia’s levels dropped 9.2 and 3.2 percentage points, respectively.

SourceEuropean Commission

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