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Positive trend in the Innovation Scoreboard 2021

Innovation Scoreboard

The European Innovation Scoreboard provides a comparative analysis of EU countries, other European countries and neighbouring regions in terms of innovation. It assesses the strengths and weaknesses of national innovation systems and helps countries determine where they need to focus their efforts.

The Innovation Scoreboard is the European Union’s commitment to research and innovation, which strives for excellence and is competitive, open and talent-driven.

European Innovation Scoreboard 2021

The European Commission has published the Innovation Scoreboard 2021, showing that Europe’s innovation performance continues to improve across the EU.

Innovation performance has increased by 12.5% since 2014. There is continued convergence within the EU, with lower-performing countries growing faster than better-performing countries, so that the innovation gap between them is narrowing.

Globally, the EU is ahead of countries such as China, Brazil, South Africa, Russia and India, while South Korea, Canada, Australia, the United States and Japan remain in the lead.

The Innovation Scoreboard includes new indicators on digitalisation and environmental sustainability, in line with EU policy priorities.

Main findings

Based on their performance, EU countries are divided into four groups: innovation leaders, major innovators, moderate innovators and emerging innovators. Here are some of the results of the report:

  • Sweden remains the EU innovation leader, followed by Finland, Denmark and Belgium; these countries are above average in terms of innovation performance in the EU.
  • The innovation leaders and most of the top innovators are in Northern and Western Europe, while most of the moderate and emerging innovators are in Southern and Eastern Europe.
  • The EU’s innovation performance has increased by 12.5% since 2014.
  • In the graph below, you can see the emerging, moderate, strong and leading innovators, comparing the years 2014 and 2020.

The most innovative region in Europe is Stockholm (Sweden), followed by Southern Finland (Finland) and Upper Bavaria (Germany). The Capital Region (Denmark) is in fourth place and Zurich (Switzerland) in fifth place.


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