The 2014 edition of the EU’s Innovation Union Scoreboard has been published. The report suggests that Europe is closing the ‘innovation gap’ with the United States and Japan, but that differences in performance between EU Member States are still high and diminishing only slowly.
At a regional level, the innovation gap is also widening, with the innovation performance having worsened in almost one fifth of EU regions.
The overall ranking by EU country is similar to previous scoreboards with Denmark, Finland, Germany and Sweden characterised as ‘innovation leaders’ investing the most in research and innovation. The UK is in the next group of countries and rated as an ‘innovation follower’.
The report finds that progress in the last year has been driven by the openness and attractiveness of the EU research system, plus business-academia innovation collaboration and the commercialisation of knowledge by licensing and patent revenues. However, growth in public R&D spending was offset by less venture capital investment and innovation investment in companies.
The Innovation Union Scoreboard uses a set of 25 indicators within three broad areas (enablers; firm activities; outputs).