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Commission launches new innovation indicator
Sweden, Germany, Ireland and Luxembourg are the EU Member States
getting the most out of innovation, according to a new indicator proposed by the
The "Indicator of Innovation Output" measures the extent to which ideas
from innovative sectors are able to reach the market, providing better jobs and
making Europe more competitive.
The indicator was developed at the request of EU leaders to benchmark
national innovation policies, and shows that significant differences remain
between EU countries.
The EU as a whole performs well in an international comparison, even
though it remains behind some of the most innovative economies worldwide
Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, responsible for Research,
Innovation and Science, said:
"The European Union must turn more great ideas into successful products
and services in order to lead in the global economy.
We also have to close a worrying 'innovation divide'.
The proposed indicator will help us measure how we are doing and
pinpoint areas where countries need to take action."
The proposed new indicator shows a wide range of innovation output
across EU Member States (EU average set to 100 in 2010):
The top performers in the EU owe their ranking to doing well on several
or all of the following factors:
an economy with a high share of knowledge-intensive sectors,
fast-growing innovative firms, high levels of patenting and competitive exports.
The novelty of the proposed indicator is that it focuses on innovation
output. As such, it complements the Commission's Innovation Union Scoreboard
(IUS) and Summary Innovation Index (SII) (IP/13/270).
These assess the innovation performance of Member States and the EU
more widely, against a broad set of 24 innovation indicators including inputs,
throughputs and outputs.
Innovation output is wide-ranging and differs from sector to sector.
The proposed indicator is based on four components chosen for their
- Technological innovation as measured by patents.
- Employment in knowledge-intensive activities as a percentage of total
- Competitiveness of knowledge-intensive goods and services.This is
based on both the contribution of the trade balance of high-tech and medium-tech
products to the total trade balance, and knowledge-intensive services as a share
of the total services exports.
- Employment in fast-growing firms of innovative sectors.
A comparison with some non-EU countries shows that the EU as a whole
Switzerland and Japan have a clear performance lead, but the EU is more
or less even with the United States on innovation output.
The Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth is
underpinned by five headline indicators.
One of these is to improve the conditions for Research & Development
(R&D), with the aim of raising combined public and private investment levels for
R&D to 3% of GDP.
To complement this R&D intensity indicator, the European Council gave
the Commission the mandate to develop a single innovation indicator.