Going by the EU’s 2015 Innovation Union Scoreboard, Ireland has risen one place in the rankings of most innovative EU nations, moving from 9th to 8th place.
This puts Ireland in the top percentile of the 28 member states of the EU, with the judges’ decision being swayed by two of the eight dimensions that score a country on how innovative it is.
For Ireland, the two dimensions that contributed to our latest success were those of ‘innovators’ and ‘economic effects’, with the judges ranking Ireland as first on both counts, with the innovators dimension measuring how innovative firms are, while the economic effects captured economic success stemming from innovation in terms of employment, revenue and exports.
The current Government had previously set a rise to 8th place as its target by 2017, which it has now reached, and marks the third successive year that we have increased one place in the ranking, from 9th in 2014 and 10th in 2013.
Likely to surpass funding targets
The Government has been pointing towards the funding of researchers and companies in the first nine months of the Horizon 2020 programme as an example of our success in the wider EU, which saw nearly €100m seeded in the country.
In welcoming the success to date, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, said: “I am confident that, based on the pipeline of activity, we will surpass our target of €100m for the first year of the [Horizon 2020] programme.
“I would like to congratulate the higher education institutions that account for more than 70pc of the success to date. Irish companies account for almost 20pc of Ireland’s success, with 62pc of this going to SMEs”.
Number eight image via Shutterstock