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Published by the European Commission, the annual Innovation Scoreboard analyses the research and innovation performance of the EU Member States and selected third countries as well as the relative strengths and weaknesses of their research and innovation systems. The analysed countries can use the data to determine what efforts are needed in order for them to boost their innovation performance.

Strong Luxembourg performance

Ranked 8th in last year’s Innovation Scoreboard, Luxembourg gained two places this year and was moved from the group “Strong innovators” to “Innovation Leaders”. Sweden is once again the overall EU innovation leader, followed by Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Luxembourg. Germany drops to the group of strong innovators.

Luxembourg performs particularly well in the attractiveness of its research system, which exceeds the EU average with 98%, and its intellectual assets (patent, trademark and design applications) which is rated as 53% above the EU average. Its overall innovation index is 21% above the EU average. Luxembourg improved its performance relative to the EU average with 6.6 percentage points between 2010 and 2017.

Positive outlook

The 2018 edition of the Scoreboard highlights that the EU’s innovation performance continues to improve, that progress is accelerating, and that the outlook is positive. Since 2010, the EU’s average innovation performance has increased by 5.8 percentage points, and it is expected to improve by an additional 6 percentage points over the next 2 years.

At the global level, the EU is catching up with Canada, Japan and the United States. The EU maintains its lead over China, but this lead is decreasing rapidly with China having improved almost three times as fast as the EU. Relative to South Korea, the EU has been falling behind, but a gradual catch-up is expected over the next years.

In selected areas of innovation, the EU leaders are:

  • Denmark – human resources and innovation-friendly environment;
  • Luxembourg – attractive research systems;
  • France – finance and support;
  • Ireland – innovation in SMEs, employment impacts, and sales impacts;
  • Belgium – innovation linkages and collaboration.

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