Over half of companies and organisation from across industrial sectors are involved in innovation, according to the EU’s sixth annual survey of innovative activity around Europe, published this week.
In all, 52 per cent of enterprises from industry and services said they were involved in innovation activity between 2006 and 2008. The highest level of innovation-related activity is in Germany, where 80 per cent of enterprises claimed to be innovative. Sixty-five per cent of enterprises in Luxembourg believe they are innovative, 58 per cent in Belgium and Portugal and 57 per cent in Ireland. The lowest rates were in Latvia at 24 per cent, Poland 28 per cent, Hungary 29 per cent, Lithuania 30 per cent and Bulgaria 31 per cent.
The data published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, covers a broad set of indicators, and for the first time provides information on innovation that has environmental benefits.
Enterprises are quizzed about new or significantly improved goods or services, or the implementation of new or significantly improved processes, logistics or distribution methods. The aim is to produce a broad set of indicators on innovation activity and expenditure, public funding, sources of information for innovation, and cooperation on innovation projects.
The current survey will form an important input into the European Commission Research and Innovation Union Scoreboard, a broader assessment of innovation that it being set up in order to track the progress of the Innovation Union initiative within the EU2020 strategy.
A third of innovative enterprises cooperate with external partners
Of those companies and organisations that claim to be innovative, 34 per cent cooperated with other enterprises, universities or public research institutes to bring about their innovation projects. Eleven per cent cooperated with a partner in another Member State, 3 per cent with a partner in the US and 2 per cent with a partner in India or China.