On Monday, June 21, the European Commission (EC) published an annual report containing the results of a comparative analysis of the innovation systems of the EU countries and their ranking by the level of innovative development.
According to the 2021 European Innovation Scoreboard, Cyprus' innovation performance grew by more than 25% in 2020 and more than double the EU average.
As you may know, the EU countries are divided in the ranking into four groups of indicators: "Innovation Leaders", "Strong Innovators", "Moderate Innovators" and "New Innovators".
Cyprus is currently classified as a Moderate Innovator. Since 2018, the country's performance has improved significantly compared to other EU countries. Cyprus has achieved one of the highest results in the development of innovation and entered the top five leaders who were able to increase their index by more than 25%. Other countries included Greece, Estonia, Italy and Lithuania.
According to the report, the three main positive indicators for Cyprus include sales of innovative products, innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) partnering with others and product innovators.
Significant growth in innovation performance since 2018 is driven by improvements in broadband penetration, venture capital, product innovators, work-to-work human resource mobility in science and technology, and mid- to high-end merchandise exports. The EU report says that Cyprus has a higher than average share of domestic product innovators and is close to the average in terms of indicators related to climate change.
By the way, the European Innovation Scoreboard assesses the relative strengths and weaknesses of national innovation systems and helps countries identify the areas they need to address.
The 2021 edition shows that Europe's innovation performance continues to improve across the EU. On average, indicators of innovation activity have grown by 12.5% since 2014. Convergence continues in the EU, with lower-growth countries growing faster than higher-growth countries, narrowing the innovation gap between them.
European innovations, such as the technologies behind the new COVID-19 vaccines, are critical to combat and overcome the current pandemic. The improvement in EU innovation performance is a very positive signal. Investing in innovation is investing in our ability to be at the forefront of technology to create a sustainable, digital and sustainable economy and society, said EU Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton.
It is worth noting that Sweden remains the leader in innovation in the EU, followed by Finland, Denmark and Belgium, whose innovation performance is well above the EU average.
South Korea is the most innovative country in the global landscape, performing 36% higher than the EU in 2014 and 21% higher than the EU in 2021. The EU is ahead of China, Brazil, South Africa, Russia and India in the EIS this year, while Canada, Australia, the United States and Japan have an edge over the EU.
It must be said that this year's European Innovation Scoreboard is based on a revised structure that includes new indicators of digitalization and environmental sustainability, which is more in line with the political priorities of the EU.