European Innovation Scoreboard 2019


The European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) provides a comparative analysis of the research and innovation performance of the EU Member States and selected third countries.

The EIS measurement framework distinguishes between four main types of indicators (Framework conditions, Investments, Innovation activities, Impacts) and ten innovation dimensions, capturing in total 27 different indicators. Framework conditions capture the main drivers of innovation performance external to the firm and cover three innovation dimensions: Human resources, Attractive research systems, as well as Innovation-friendly environment. Investments capture public and private investment in research and innovation and cover two dimensions: Finance and support and Firm investments. Innovation activities capture the innovation efforts at the level of the firm, grouped in three innovation dimensions: Innovators, Linkages, and Intellectual assets. Impacts cover the effects of firms’ innovation activities in two innovation dimensions: Employment impacts and Sales effects.

For each country, an overall innovation performance is measured using a composite indicator building on an unweighted average of the 27 indicators – the Summary Innovation Index. Four performance groups are obtained from the results of the Summary Innovation Index.

Innovation leaders:

Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden, with a performance more than 120% above the EU average.

Strong innovators:

Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom, with a performance between 90% and 120% of the EU average.

Moderate innovators:

Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain, with a performance between 50% and 90% of the EU average.

Modest innovators:

Bulgaria and Romania, with a performance below 50% of the EU average.

Belgium ranks 6th in the IUS 2019 behind the four innovation leaders and one strong innovator (Luxembourg). The Belgian performance is equivalent to the one of the United Kingdom, just above Germany. The innovation performance of Belgium relative to that of the EU in 2011 has increased over time.

Relative strengths of the innovation system are in Attractive research systems (International scientific co-publications, Foreign doctorate students), Linkages (Innovative SMEs collaborating with others, Public-private co-publications, Private co-funding of public R&D expenditure), and Innovators (SMEs product/process innovations, SMEs marketing/organizational innovations, SMEs innovating in-house). Good performances also in particular indicators in other innovation dimensions: Population with tertiary education, R&D expenditure in the public sector, R&D expenditure in the business sector, Enterprises providing ICT training, Broadband penetration and Sales of new-to-market/firm innovations.

Relative weaknesses are in Employment impacts (due to the indicator Employment fast-growing enterprises), and Intellectual assets (due to the indicator Design applications). Other indicators in other innovation dimensions are below the EU average: Lifelong learning, Opportunity-driven entrepreneurship, Venture capital expenditures, Non-R&D innovation expenditures and Medium and high-tech product exports.