Monday, November 29, 2004

European I. Scoreboard 2004: EU losing to US & Japan

The Commission's European I. Scoreboard 2004 indicates that the EU is still losing ground on the United States and Japan, but some member states are outperforming the two major global competitors.

Every year, the Commission publishes a European I. Scoreboard (EIS). This year's 2004 report covers the 25 EU member states, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, the associated countries Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, as well as the US and Japan.

Some major European I. Scoreboard 2004 results are:
  1. On average, EU member states are less innovative than the US and Japan and the gap is expanding further, especially in the areas of patenting, working population with tertiary education and public R&D expenditure;
  2. However, the Nordic countries are outperforming the US and Japan on several indicators and also Germany is a high performer amongst EU countries;
  3. Portugal, Cyprus, Ireland, Latvia and Slovakia are the countries with the best recent progress in I. but they started from low starting points;
  4. The correlation between I. performance and GDP is not always very strong and may point to the need for differentiated policy strategies to translate I. into economic growth;
  5. The non-technical dimension of I. (changes in management or work organisation) plays an essential role in explaining the advance of the US over Europe on productivity growth;
  6. There are large differences in the innovativeness of specific sectors: the electrical and optical equipment sector is the EU's most innovative one, where textiles is the least innovative sector.

The Commission "staff working paper" of the European I. Scoreboard 2004 can be downloaded via this link .