The 2020 edition of the European Innovation Scoreboard shows that the EU’s innovation performance continues to increase at a steady pace and that the EU has kept its innovation lead over the USA. The report was written by Hugo Hollanders, with contributions from UNU-MERIT researchers Nordine Es-Sadki, Iris Merkelbach and Aishe Khalilova.
This year’s edition is the first since the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, resulting in a small negative effect on the innovation score of the current EU27 compared to last year’s EU28.
Innovation performance for the EU27 has improved sharply over the past eight years, with performance increases for 24 of its Member States, most notably in Lithuania, Malta, Latvia, Portugal and Greece. Sweden is once again the EU innovation leader, and Portugal, for the first time in the history of the EIS, is a strong innovator. For the whole of Europe, Switzerland is the most innovative country. This year’s edition also includes a newcomer with Montenegro.
Globally, the EU has a performance lead over China and the USA, but at the same time the EU is further lagging behind Australia, Japan and South Korea.
Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market, and Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:
The coronavirus pandemic has shaken the world in an unprecedented manner… Research and innovation have proven to be an essential part of the coordinated EU response to the virus outbreak and they will be vital to support Europe’s sustainable and inclusive recovery. They boost the resilience of our production sectors, the competitiveness of our economies and the digital and ecological transformation of our societies. Research and innovation ensure preparedness for the future and are critical to deliver on the European Green Deal… Measuring innovation performance is a key element in achieving these objectives… The 2020 European Innovation Scoreboard will support the development of policies to enhance innovation in Europe and inform policymakers in a rapidly evolving global context.
The opinions expressed here are the author’s own; they do not necessarily reflect the views of UNU.