European Innovation Scoreboard 2008: Summary of the situation in the 27 Member States: Based on performance over a five year period, four main groupings of countries emerge:
* Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Denmark and the UK are the Innovation leaders, with scores well above that of the EU27 and all other countries.
* Austria, Luxembourg, Ireland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands are the Innovation followers, with scores below those of the innovation leaders but equal to or above that of the EU27. Austria is close to moving from the innovation followers to the innovation leaders.
* Cyprus, Estonia, Slovenia, Iceland, Czech Republic, Norway, Spain, Portugal and Italy are the Moderate innovators with scores below that of the EU27, except for Cyprus. Recent improvements in innovation performance for Cyprus, Estonia, Slovenia and Iceland suggest that these countries could move to the innovation followers in the near future.
* Malta, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Latvia, Bulgaria and Turkey are the Catching-up countries. Although their scores are significantly below the EU average, these scores are increasing towards the EU average over time with the exception of Greece and Lithuania.
Portugal: For Portugal, one of the Moderate innovators, innovation performance is below the EU27 average but the rate of improvement is more than twice that of the EU27 making it a growth leader within its group of countries. Relative strengths, compared to the country’s average performance, are in Finance and support and Innovators while relative weaknesses are in Human resources, Firm investments, Linkages & entrepreneurship and Throughputs.
Over the past 5 years, Human resources, Finance and support, Firm investments and Throughputs have been the main drivers of the improvement in innovation performance, in particular as a result from strong growth in S&E and SSH graduates (9.8%), S&E and SSH doctorate graduates (19.2%), Broadband access by firms (25.1%), Business R&D expenditures (26.3%), EPO patents (8.4%) and Community trademarks (12.1%). Performance in the other dimensions has increased at a slower pace, except in Innovators where there has been almost no improvement.
A propósito: Report: EU citizens keen to boost R&D investment: Scientists in Europe can count on citizens' support for sustained investment in research and development amid fears that the ongoing economic crisis may lead to cuts, a new survey revealed last week.
Europeans are generally very positive towards science, whether as a means of improving the environment or as a way of improving their own health and everyday lives, according to a special EU-wide Eurobarometer conducted last summer among 17-60 year olds.