The Innovation Union Scoreboard (IUS) is an instrument of the European Commission, developed under the Lisbon Strategy and revised after the adoption of the Europe 2020 Strategy to provide a comparative assessment of the innovation performance of EU Member States. Together with the Regional Innovation Scoreboard and the pilot European Public Sector Innovation Scoreboard (under development), it forms a comprehensive benchmarking and monitoring system of research and innovation trends and activities in Europe.
The most recent IUS 2014 has shown that the European Union has become more innovative and is closing its innovation gap with the United States and Japan but differences in performance between EU Member States are still high and diminishing only slowly. The overall ranking within the EU remained relatively stable, with Sweden at the top, followed by Denmark, Germany and Finland.
Who are the innovation leaders in the European Union?
The Innovation Union Scoreboard 2014 places Member States into four different performance groups:
- Denmark (DK), Finland (FI), Germany (DE) and Sweden (SE) are “Innovation Leaders” with innovation performance well above that of the EU average;
- Austria (AT), Belgium (BE), Cyprus (CY), Estonia (EE), France (FR), Ireland (IE), Luxembourg (LU), Netherlands (NL), Slovenia (SI) and the United Kingdom (UK) are “Innovation followers” with innovation performance above or close to that of the EU average;
- The performance of Croatia (HR), Czech Republic (CZ), Greece (EL), Hungary (HU), Italy (IT), Lithuania (LT), Malta (MT), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Slovakia (SK) and Spain (ES) is below that of the EU average. These countries are “Moderate innovators“;
- Bulgaria (BG), Latvia (LV) and Romania (RO) are “Modest innovators” with innovation performance well below that of the EU average.
The Innovation Union Scoreboard, following the methodology of the previous editions, captures a total of 25 different indicators, distinguishing between eight innovation dimensions and three main categories of indicators:
When looking at individual dimensions, Open, excellent and attractive research systems contributed most to the overall innovation performance over the last eight years, followed by growth in Human resources. Looking at individual indicators, Community trademarks contributed most to the increase of the innovation performance, followed by Non-EU doctorate graduates and International scientific co-publications. Relatively good performance improvement is also observed in Innovation collaboration of SMEs and commercialisation of knowledge as measured by License and patent revenues from abroad.
All the EU regional innovation leaders (27 regions) are located in only eight EU Member States: Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden and United Kingdom. This indicates that innovation excellence is concentrated in relatively few areas in Europe.
Read more: Innovation Union Scorecard (2014), Innovation Union Scoreboard 2014 (executive summary), Regional Innovation Scoreboard (2014).