2019 European Innovation Scoreboard: the Netherlands is an innovation leader!

2019 European Innovation Scoreboard: the Netherlands is an innovation leader!

According to the European Commission’s 2019 European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS), which ranks EU member states and selected third countries based on their research and innovation performance, the Netherlands is an innovation leader! The land of windmills and tulips, however, does not take first place in the ranking; it comes fourth.

2019 European Innovation Scoreboard

The EIS was first introduced in 2001, making the 2019 version the 18th edition. A country’s innovation performance is measured using the Summary Innovation Index, which summarises the performance of many different indicators.

In total, 27 indicators are used in the ranking; these fall under four main categories, namely framework conditions, which looks at human resources, attractive research systems and an innovation-friendly environment; investments, including finance and support and firm investments; innovation activities, comprising innovators, linkages and intellectual assets and impacts, which looks at employment and sales impacts.

The Summary Innovation Index is a composite indicator obtained by taking the unweighted average of all 27 indicators. Based on this year’s results, countries are divided up into four categories: Innovation Leaders, Strong Innovators, Moderate Innovators and Modest Innovators.

The Netherlands in the top 4

The Netherlands belongs to the Innovation Leader category, where performance is above 120 percent of the EU average. Coming in on top is Sweden, followed by Finland and Denmark- all belonging to this prominent category. The Netherlands does particularly well when it comes to attractive research systems, linkages and an innovation-friendly environment- with scores for each indicator in these categories above 120 percent of the EU average.

Foreign doctorate students, international scientific co-publications and public-private co-publications are the indicators that the Netherlands excels in. The country, however, falls short on firm investments and sales impacts, these being its weakest areas. The lowest scores it received were for the indicators sales of new-to-market and new-to-firm product innovations, medium and high-tech product exports and non-R&D innovation expenditures.

2019 EIS top 10

Sweden tops the ranking, followed by Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands. These countries are all innovation leaders. Romania finds itself at the bottom of the ranking, preceded by Bulgaria. These countries are the only two that belong to the modest innovator group. This year, for the first time, the EU’s performance has surpassed that of the United States at a global level. The top 10 for the 2019 EIS is as follows:

  1. Sweden
  2. Finland
  3. Denmark
  4. The Netherlands
  5. Luxembourg
  6. Belgium
  7. United Kingdom
  8. Germany
  9. Austria
  10. Ireland

For more information please see the European Innovation Scoreboard website.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

Read more



Leave a comment