Sweden leads EU innovation, gap between countries growing

by | Apr 16, 2013

Innovation in the EU has improved each year despite the economic crisis threatening to engulf the continent. However, there is a considerable gap between member states.

The European Commission has released its Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013 which ranks members of the EU.

Most innovative leaders have improved performance, while others behind have lacked progress.

Sweden tops the board this year, followed by Germany, Denmark and Finland.

Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia have most improved in the past 12 months.

SMEs and the commercialisation of innovation have driven the charge, together with exemplary research processes. The decline in business and venture capital investment has made an impact on the board.

State of the Innovation Union is a report which has also been published that illustrates the Commission has delivered on its major promises.

Countries have been grouped into four categories on the scoreboard.

Innovation leaders are Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Finland that have all performed well above the EU average.

Innovation followers include the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, the UK, Austria, Ireland, France, Slovenia, Cyprus and Estonia that have all performed above average.

Moderate innovators this year are Italy, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Greece, Slovakia, Hungary, Malta and Lithuania that have all performed below average.

Modest innovators include Poland, Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria that have all performed well below average.

Common factors of innovation leaders

Countries leading innovation have strong innovation and higher education sectors. Research and development spend as well as number of patents lodged are strong. These countries also have a healthy connection between industry and science.

International innovation comparisons

Switzerland has outperformed all EU nations. South Korea, the US and Japan are more innovative than the EU. However, the EU is more innovative than Australia, Canada, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Innovation scoreboard

EU member states were measured against 24 benchmarks, which can be grouped into three categories:

Enablers: Basics that allow innovation to thrive, such as human resource management, research systems, financing and support.

Firm activities: Corporate investment, links, entrepreneurship and intellectual assets.

Outputs: Benefits for the nation’s economy, including employment levels.

The report can be found here.

Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

View All Posts

Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

Need help to get your business to the next level?

More related articles on innovation

Share This