European Innovation Status

European Innovation Status

By Ingemar Pongratz


The European Commission has recently released a study which has evaluated the Innovation performance in the European Union.

This study shows that the performance in the area of innovation is very diverse and certain areas or region are well ahead while other areas lag clearly behind the EU average. In addition, the findings place Switzerland well ahead EU member states in the area on innovation. Interestingly, among the EU member states, Sweden and the Scandinavian region ranks very high. Noteworthy, there are certain areas among the new member states which lag considerably behind, but there are notable exceptions such as Slovenia which are improving considerably. However, nations like Romania and Bulgaria still lag behind and are well below the EU average.

Breaking down the factors believed to improve innovation performance the picture becomes very diverse. Looking for example at Sweden, Sweden leads in Academic quality, but countries like Finland have better framework conditions for innovators and better financing alternatives. In contrast, German Industry invests more on innovation and the Benelux countries have better networks for innovators.

In fact, the European Innovation Status seems fragmented and all regions display poor performance in certain areas.

At the international level, the top performers in innovation are still the US, Japan and Korea, with EU lagging behind. The EU is adopting new measures to improve the EU innovation performance and has introduced financial measures such as EFSI, to secure the availability to investment capital and Innovation Deals a new scheme to support innovation in the circular environment area. This scheme aims to streamline the regulatory landscape which may hinder the uptake of new innovative products or services.

Interestingly however, the Washington recently published an article looking at the stage of European Innovation. In fact their figures and findings differ considerably from the EU findings and support the notion that the EU climate for innovation is not improving.

As always, it is surprising that European Innovators themselves were not represented in development of either of the studies.


Ingemar Pongratz is founder of Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting. We help companies, universities and other organizations to apply for public funding such as Horizon 2020. If you are interested to discuss our services please use the Online Contact Form or send an email to:


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National Park Tyresta by Ingemar Pongratz

National Park Tyresta by Ingemar Pongratz