Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013
Innovation performance in the EU has improved year on year in spite of the continuing economic crisis, but the innovation divide between Member States is widening. While the most innovative countries have further improved their performance, others have shown a lack of progress. The overall ranking within the EU remains relatively stable, with Sweden at the top, followed by Germany, Denmark and Finland. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are the countries that have improved most since last year. Drivers of innovation growth in the EU include SMEs and the commercialisation of innovations, together with excellent research systems. However, the decrease in business and venture capital investment over the years 2008-2012 has negatively influenced innovation performance.
Based on the Summary Innovation Index, the Member States fall into the following four country groups:
•Innovation leaders: Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Finland, all show a performance well above that of the EU average.
•Innovation followers: the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, the UK, Austria, Ireland, France, Slovenia, Cyprus and Estonia, all show a performance close to that of the EU average.
•Moderate innovators: The performance of Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Greece, Slovakia, Hungary, Malta and Lithuania is below that of the EU average.
•Modest innovators: The performance of Poland, Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria is well below that of the EU average. (Source: European Commission)
Austria's relative strengths - compared to the EU average - are in the areas "linkages & entrepreneurship" and "intellectual assets". Relative weaknesses can be found in "finance and support" (especially in the field of venture capital investments), "firm investments" and "economic effects". Fields with high growth rates for Austria are "international scientific co-publications" and "community trademarks". The Scoreboard shows a strong decline for "non-R&D innovation expenditures" and "SME introducing marketing or organisational innovations" in Austria.