The European Commission Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013, which provides a comparative assessment of the research and innovation performance of the EU27 member states, has revealed that innovation performance in the EU has improved despite the economic crisis.

However, regardless of this progress, the Innovation Scoreboard has shown that the innovation gap between European member states is widening. The results have depicted the first effects of the economic crisis on the research and innovation landscape in Europe.

Although a number of countries have improved their performance, others have shown a lack of progress over the past 12 months. The results have revealed that the overall ranking in the EU has remained relatively stable since last year’s results.

The Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013 has ranked Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Finland as innovation leaders demonstrating a performance that is well above average. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are the countries that registered considerable progress over the past year. Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Greece, Slovakia, Hungary, Malta and Lithuania performed below the EU average.

The Innovation Scoreboard has shown that the fall in business and venture capital investment throughout 2008-2012 has imposed a negative effect on innovation performance. The European Commission stated that there is a need to go further to eliminate the innovation divide in Europe by addressing the main drivers of innovation growth in the EU which include SMEs and the commercialisation of innovations and excellent research systems.

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