Innovation performance of 190 European regions compared

8 November, 2012

Innovation is a key driver of economic growth and jobs. The Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2012, published 6th November, provides a comparative assessment of how European regions perform with regard to innovation. The report covers 190 regions across the European Union, Croatia, Norway and Switzerland. The Regional Innovation Scoreboard is based on the methodology of the Innovation Union Scoreboard.


The Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2012 classifies European regions into four innovation performance groups, similarly to the Innovation Union Scoreboard: there are 41 regions in the first group of "innovation leaders", 58 regions belong to the second group of "innovation followers", 39 regions are "moderate innovators" and 52 regions are in the fourth group of "modest innovators".


The results show that the most innovative regions in the EU are typically in the most innovative countries: Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Finland. In Germany, 12 out of 16 regions are innovation leaders, in Finland 3 out of 5 regions and in Sweden 5 out of 8 regions. Only in Denmark, the majority of the regions are innovation followers, and 2 out of 5 regions are innovation leaders, including the capital region of Copenhagen and Midtjylland. The regional innovation diversity is very low in non-EU Switzerland, which outperforms all EU Member States having all regions except one classified as innovation leaders.


There is considerable diversity in regional innovation performance not only across Europe but also within the Member States. Most of the European countries have regions at different levels of innovation performance. The most pronounced examples are France and Portugal: in both countries the performance of regions (including overseas territories) ranges from innovation leaders to modest innovators. Other countries with wide variations in performance are Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom: all have at least one region in 3 different innovation performance groups. The most homogenous countries are the moderate innovators Greece, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, where all regions except one each are also moderate innovators. The situation is similar in Romania and Bulgaria where most or even all regions are modest innovators.


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