Location

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Both the Member States of the European Union and their regions continue to record improvements in their innovation performance.

This is reflected in the European Innovation Scoreboard 2023 and the latest Regional Innovation Scoreboard, published by the European Commission.

Access the results here

Location:

Europe

Main facts/points outlined in body of text

  • Reflecting an improvement of approximately 8.5% since 2016.
  • The innovation performance of 25 countries has improved over that period, albeit at a slower pace in recent years
  • 20 Member States significantly increased their innovation capabilities last year, while only seven recorded a decline.
  • Countries with less robust innovation systems tend to improve more slowly than the EU average.
  • The latest biannual edition of the regional innovation score board also points to improved performance in most regions since 2016.
  • While innovative regions tend to be located in the most innovative Member States,some regions perform excellently in countries with relatively lower innovationscores.
  • Globally, the European Union's performance is slightly better than China's and is narrowing the performance gap with Australia.
  • The gap with Canada, the Republic of Korea and the United States has widened.

Key statistics and data must be included

Denmark, the most innovative country in the EU

  • Member States are divided into four performance groups:
    • innovation leaders (performance is above 125% of the EU average),
    • high innovators (between 100% and 125% of the EU average),
    • moderate innovators (between 70% and 100% of the EU average) and emerging innovators (below 70% of the EU average).
    • emerging innovators (below 70% of the average).
  • Denmark is the most innovative country, followed by Sweden, which had been in first place in recent years.
  • Other innovation leaders are Finland, the Netherlands and Belgium.
  • Spain ranks 16th, below the EU average.
  • Portugal is ranked 18th
  • Hungary has moved up to the group of moderate innovators, while performance has worsened in France and Luxembourg since 2016.
  • Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, Ireland, Cyprus and France are high innovators and show results above the EU average.
  • Spain, Estonia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Lithuania, Greece and Hungary are moderate innovators.
  • Croatia, Slovakia, Poland, Latvia, Bulgaria and Romania are emerging innovators.

A total of 211 European regions record improvements

  • At the regional level, innovation performance has improved in 211 regions out of a total of 239 regions since 2016.
  • The most innovative region is Hovedstaden (Denmark).
    • followed by Helsinki-Uusimaa (Finland)
    • Oberbayern (Germany)
    • Stockholm (Sweden)
    • Berlin (Germany)
  • In the case of Spain, the most innovative region is the Basque Country, with Navarra, Catalonia and the Community of Madrid also standing out.

The gap persists and is characterized by being geographically concentrated. While the innovation leaders and most of the major innovators are mainly located in Northern and Western Europe, many of the moderate and emerging innovators are in Southern and Eastern Europe. In this regard, the European Commission points to the need for targeted efforts to close this gap and foster equitable growth across the EU, in line with the New European Innovation Agenda.