EU 24 Aug 2021
Sweden continues to be the EU Innovation Leader followed by Finland, Denmark and Belgium according to the EU Commission’s report European Innovation Scoreboard 2021. In the global landscape, the EU is performing better than its competitors like China, Brazil, South Africa, Russia, and India, while South Korea, Canada, Australia, the United States, and Japan have a performance lead over the EU.
Europe’s innovation performance continues to improve across the EU. On average, innovation performance has increased by 12.5% since 2014. The performance groups tend to be geographically concentrated, with the Innovation Leaders and most Strong Innovators being located in Northern and Western Europe. Most of the Moderate and Emerging Innovators is located in Southern and Eastern Europe. The four top Member States have a performance above 125% of the EU average. Performance has increased the most in Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Italy and Lithuania by 25 percentage points or more.
The most innovative region in Europe is Stockholm in Sweden, followed by Etelä-Suomi in Finland, and Upper Bavaria in Germany. Hovedstaden region in Denmark is in fourth place, and Zürich in Switzerland is in fifth place.
Sweden’s strengths are in Use of information technologies, Human resources and Attractive research systems. The top-3 indicators include Lifelong learning, PCT patent applications, and International scientific co-publications. More can be read in the Sweden section.
Performance in Intellectual Assets deviates to some extent from the overall classification into four performance groups. Denmark, an Innovation Leader, is the overall best performing country, making it to the top 5 together with two other Innovation Leaders, Finland and Sweden, and two Strong Innovators, Austria and Germany. All Innovation Leaders perform above the EU average, except for Belgium.
About European Innovation Scoreboard
This year’s European Innovation Scoreboard is based on a revised framework, which includes new indicators on digitalisation and environmental sustainability, bringing the scoreboard more in line with the EU political priorities.
The European Innovation Scoreboard provides a comparative analysis of innovation performance in EU countries, other European countries and regional neighbors. It assesses relative strengths and weaknesses of national innovation systems and helps countries identify areas they need to address. The first European Innovation Scoreboard was released in 2001.
Image: European Commission, Innovation Scoreboard 2021