Commission releases 2016 European Innovation Scoreboard

Brussels – The European Commission has released its annual Innovation Scoreboard, monitoring the innovation performance of European States, showing that for the period 2015-2016, innovation performance has increased in only seven Member States (Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Ireland, Latvia, Malta, and the United Kingdom), while it has remained stable in four and declined in 17 Member States.

However, taking a longer term view, between 2008 and 2015, 21 Member States of the European Union have increased their innovation performance, with Latvia, Malta, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom being the fastest growing innovators. The Scoreboard uses four different performance groups for EU countries:

  • Innovation Leaders – Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden whose innovation performance is well above that of the EU average;
  • Strong Innovators – Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom whose innovation performance is above or close to that of the EU average;
  • Moderate Innovators – Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, and Spain whose innovation performance is below the EU average;
  • Modest Innovators – Bulgaria and Romania whose innovation performance is well below that of the EU average.



A total of 25 different indicators are used to build the scoreboard, distinguishing between eight innovation dimensions and three main categories of indicators:

  • Enablers – These are the basic building blocks which allow innovation to take place – human resources, open, excellent and attractive research systems, and finance and support;
  • Firm activities – These capture innovation efforts in European companies – company investments, linkages and entrepreneurship, and intellectual assets;
  • Outputs – These show how this translates into benefits for the economy as a whole – innovators and economic effects.

The scoreboard monitors the 28 EU members, as well as Iceland, Israel, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine. On a more limited number of indicators, it also covers Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, the Russian Federation, South Africa, South Korea, and the United States.

Regional Innovation Scoreboard

Alongside the European Innovation Scoreboard, the Commission has also launched the 2016 Regional Innovation Scoreboard (RIS), assessing regional performance in a limited number of indicators. The scoreboard finds that the most innovative regions are typically in the most innovative countries and excellence is concentrated in relatively few areas in Europe. All 36 EU regional Innovation Leaders are located in seven EU Member States: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

However, a stronger variation in some (mainly larger) countries also highlights regional specificities and the existence of regional ‘pockets of excellence’. Six regional Strong Innovators are found in Moderate Innovator countries: Oslo og Akershus and Trøndelag in Norway, Piemonte and Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy, País Vasco in Spain and Bratislavský kraj in Slovakia. Also, some regional Innovation Leaders are found in Strong Innovator countries. This is notably the case of East Midlands, London, South East and South West in the United Kingdom, and Île de France in France.

For more information and to access the full Scoreboard, see the European Commission Fact Sheet.

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