A Canadian with Dutch roots, Ellen has had half her heart in the Netherlands since the day she was b...
Netherlands 6th in the 2014 European Innovation Index08 March 2014, by Ellen Keith
The Netherlands has fallen from fifth to sixth place in the 2014 European innovation index, an annual report by the European Commission that ranks the European Union member states and compares the continent’s overall performance on a global scale.
Innovation is considered one of the key methods for economic growth and development and is especially important as nations struggle to climb out of the financial crisis.
Innovation Index Top Five
For 2014, the top five European countries in innovation are:
These rankings were compiled using 25 indicators, grouped into three categories:
› enablers (conditions which foster innovation)
› firm activities (innovation efforts within firms)
› outputs (the resulting economic benefit of such innovation)
The study indicates that European innovation is concentrated regionally and limited in scope. All of the top 27 regions in European innovation lie within eight nations: Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Decreased investment in Dutch innovation
This year, the Netherlands lost its place among the top five innovative countries in Europe. Dutch performance in innovation had risen in the years leading up to 2011 and then peaked in 2012.
This current drop comes as a result of a dramatic decrease in investment in development and research as well as in foreign patent revenues during 2013.
The Dutch organisation WRR (the Scientific Council for Government Policy), believes that the government needs to be more proactive when it comes to encouraging innovation and focusing on how to invest on future development.
Innovation does not depend solely on government action; it also requires the cooperation of companies and education and research institutions.
However, Dutch innovation generally lies above the European average. This is especially the case when it comes to scientific publications; still, the Netherlands lags in the areas of sales share of new innovations and knowledge-intensive service exports.
How does Europe compare to the world?
Beyond continental borders, the United States, Japan and South Korea are the top world innovators, with the two former countries holding a 17 per cent lead on Europe in terms of performance.
However, the European Union significantly outperforms Canada and Australia and far exceeds innovation in the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). But, with rapid growth in Chinese development, Europe will need to work to maintain its position as a world leader in innovation.