Edition 118 - February 2011

The “Innovation Union” in need of innovation, finds IUS

The European Commission recently released the 2010 Innovation Union Scoreboard (IUS). The publication is a re-labelled version of the European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) - a well-established tool that assessed the innovation performance of EU member states until 2009. The new tool is meant to help monitor implementation of the EU flagship initiative released in October 2010 – Innovation Union (see ACA NewsletterEducation Europe, October 2010) – hence, the name change. The IUS makes a comparative assessment of EU member states’ innovation performance, measured against 25 indicators. The report also covers Croatia, Iceland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey and includes comparisons, based on a smaller set of indicators, between the EU27, US, Japan and the BRIC countries, i.e., Brazil, Russia, India and China.
While the title is new, there is fairly little novelty in the findings compared to last year’s results (see ACA NewsletterEducation Europe, March 2010). Within the EU, Sweden, followed by Denmark, Finland and Germany continue to be the ‘best innovators’, whereas in a wider European comparison, Switzerland still outperforms all EU27 member states. The US and Japan continue to hold the lead at a global level. The report also shows that while the EU27 overall is better placed than India and Russia, the ‘performance gap’ with Brazil and China is narrowing. The positioning of different countries changes per individual indicator, however, so we invite you to consult the report for the more differentiated picture. The report does sends one strong message: Despite progress made in many member states, the wider Innovation Union needs more innovation, in order to live up to its name.

In parallel, the European Council met in Brussels on 4 February and dealt, among other hot topics, with the issue of innovation. Acknowledging IUS’s findings, the convened European heads of state and government invited the Commission to develop “a single integrated indicator to allow a better monitoring of progress in innovation”.

Innovation Union Scoreboard (IUS)

European Council

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