Europe is an innovation leader in 2022

The European Commission has published the annual European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) report: an assessment of all European Union (EU) Member States in terms of research and innovation. Almost all EU countries have managed to boost their innovation performance compared to 2021 resulting in an overall stronger position for Europe as an innovation leader across the globe.

The performance groups

Each country has received a score placing them into one of four performance groups: Innovation Leaders, Strong Innovators, Moderate Innovators and Emerging Innovators (see figure 1). Although many Member States have improved their score compared to 2021, only three moved upward in a higher performance group: the Netherlands has become an Innovation leader (again), Cyprus a Strong Innovator, and Estonia a Moderate Innovator. Below is a breakdown of the Member States and to which performance group they belong:

  • Innovation Leaders (performance above 125% of the EU average): Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden;
  • Strong Innovators (performance between 100% and 125% of the EU average): Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, and Luxembourg;
  • Moderate Innovators (performance between 70% and 100% of the EU average): Czechia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain;
  • Emerging Innovators (performance below 70% of the EU average): Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.Innovation Leader image

Figure 1. The performance of European Union (EU) countries in 2022 relative to the EU average. The coloured columns show the 2022 performances. The horizontal bars represent the 2021 performance. The grey column represents the score in 2015. Source: EIS 2022

EU Innovation performance at a global level

Not only individual Member States are improving, the innovation performance of the EU as a whole has improved by 9.9% compared to 2015. On a global level, the EU has improved its relative position towards all global competitors (except China):

  • The performance gap with Australia, Canada, South Korea, and the United States has become smaller;
  • The performance lead over Chile, India, Japan, Mexico, and South Africa has increased;
  • The performance lead over China has become smaller.

Based on these changes, the EU now has a performance lead over Brazil, Chile, China, India, Japan, Mexico, and South Africa (see figure 2).EU innovation leader board

Figure 2. Coloured columns show performance in 2022 relative to that of the EU in 2022. Source: EIS 2022

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