Ireland above average in EU innovation league, but still classed a ‘follower’

4 Mar 20143 Shares

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While Ireland performed well above the EU average on international scientific co-publications and licence and patent revenues from abroad, it is still an ‘innovation follower’ rather than ‘innovation leader’, a new EU scoreboard reveals.

In the EU’s Innovation Union Scoreboard 2014 published today, Ireland ranks as an ‘Innovation Follower’ at 110pc of the EU average. Countries such as Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France and the UK join Ireland in the ‘Innovation Follower’ group.

The EU ‘Innovation Leaders’ are Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Finland, while Bulgaria, Latvia, Romania and Poland are ranked as the least innovative in the ‘Modest Innovators’ group.

Ireland performed well above the EU average on international scientific co-publications and licence and patent revenues from abroad.

Other strong performing indicators are population with tertiary education, employment in knowledge-intensive services and knowledge-intensive services exports.

Weaknesses

Relative weaknesses are in community designs and non-R&D innovation expenditures.

Growth has increased considerably in licence and patent revenues from abroad, new doctorate graduates and international scientific co-publications.

Most notable growth declines are observed in non-R&D innovation expenditures, community designs and innovative SMEs collaborating with others.

The most innovative countries perform well and clearly above the EU average in all areas: from research and higher-education systems, through business innovation activities and intellectual assets up to innovation in SMEs and economic effects, reflecting balanced national research and innovation systems.

"The scoreboard confirms once again that investment in research and innovation pays dividends in terms of economic performance,” said Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science.

“With a budget of nearly €80bn over the next seven years, our new research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 will help us maintain this momentum. We need to increase innovation investment across the EU now, to reach our target of 3pc of GDP by 2020,” Geoghegan-Quinn said.

Chemist image via Shutterstock

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com