European efforts in innovation still lagging behind US, Japan

The EU is not closing the persistent gap with global innovation leaders US, Japan and South Korea. The European Commission on Tuesday published the results of its Innovation Union Scoreboard, which includes innovation indicators and trend analyses for the EU 27 Member States, as well as for Croatia, Iceland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey, and also compares a more reduced set of indicators between the EU27 and 10 global competitors. The conclusion is a damning admission that European countries, whose innovation performance growth is slowing down, are being left behind.

The largest gap for the EU27 remains in terms of private sector innovation. The EU still maintains a clear lead over the emerging economies of China, Brazil, India, Russia, and South Africa. However, China is improving its innovation performance and is catching up progressively.

Within the EU, Sweden confirms its position at the top of the overall ranking, followed closely by Denmark, Germany and Finland (see complete ranking below). Firms’ innovation activities stand out as an important factor to achieve top positions at EU and international level.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said:

“This year’s results are a clear warning that more efforts to boost innovation are needed. If we want to close the gap with our main economic partners and to overcome the current crisis, innovation deserves all our attention.”

“We urgently need a European Research Area to inject fresh competition, generate more excellence, and attract and retain the best global talent,” said Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science.”

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