The Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013 provides a comparative assessment of the innovation performance of the EU27 Member States and the relative strengths and weaknesses of their research and innovation systems. Based on their average innovation performance, countries are divided into four performance groups: the ‘Innovation leaders’, the ‘Innovation followers’, the ‘Moderate innovators’ and the ‘Modest innovators’. Compared to previous years, several changes inside the performance groups have taken place. Some countries have become innovation followers while others have advanced to “moderate innovators” or have moved down becoming a “modest innovator2. The progress since the launch of the Europe2020 strategy, is insufficient since mostly strong innovators increase their innovation growth rates. However, only few of the moderate innovators and modest innovators managed to improve their innovation performance since the strategy was launched. Hence, the innovation divide between the Member States is widening due to the fact that less innovative countries as a group are no longer catching-up with the most innovative countries. In all cases it was proven that the EU is increasing its innovation performance with Estonia being the unquestionable innovation growth leader. The most innovative countries in the EU share a number of strengths in their national research and innovation systems with a key role of business activity and the higher education sector. Moreover, the overall good performance of the innovation leaders reflects a balanced national research and innovation system. As a matter of fact, SMEs and commercialisation of innovation drive the innovation growth business, while on the other hand venture capital investments are dropping the most. Taking into account European countries outside the EU, Switzerland repeatedly outperforms all EU27 Member States. Furthermore, this year’s Innovation Union Scoreboard edition again confirms that the US, Japan and South Korea have a performance lead over the EU27.
08 April 2013