Ireland ranked seventh most innovative country in the EU

5 days ago

Image: © Faina Gurevich/

While the EU is growing steadily in innovation, there seems to be a significant disparity between member states – all while China catches up with the bloc.

Ireland is the seventh most innovative country in the EU, ahead of both Germany and France, according to data published by the European Commission.

The European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS), an annual list that ranks EU member states based on their national innovation levels, shows how most countries in the bloc have boosted their performance in 2024 compared to last year.

It is based on 32 indicators that cover categories like economy, business and entrepreneurship, innovation profiles, governance and policy framework, climate change and demography. Countries tracked include all EU member states, 12 neighbouring European countries and 11 global competitors.

Denmark is the most innovative country in the EU while Switzerland takes the top spot within Europe (it is not a member of the EU). Denmark overtook Sweden last year, which now holds its position in second place. Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria place ahead of Ireland, while Luxembourg, Germany and Cyprus fill out the top 10.

According to the EIS, innovation performance among EU countries has increased 10pc since 2017 and by 0.5pc over last year.

Thierry Breton, commissioner for the internal market, said that the EIS confirms the EU’s position as an industrial and research powerhouse.

“In today’s global race for resilience and competitiveness, it has all it takes to position itself as a standard-setter and technological hub,” he said yesterday (8 July).

“Now we need to build on this technological edge to be industrial and commercial leaders in the markets of tomorrow. Resilient and diversified supply chains and a modern single market will remain at the core of well performing and innovative companies that create jobs for Europeans.”

Globally, South Korea remains the most innovative competitor while China surpassed Japan this year and is “progressively closing the gap” with the EU.

Iliana Ivanova, commissioner for innovation, said that while the overall performance is promising, an “innovation divide” persists between EU member states.

“The EU also has potential to improve its standing in the global innovation race,” she said. “We must continue our efforts, particularly in striving for more private investment in research and innovation.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic