Towards an “Innovation Union”?

European Commission published last September the Innovation Union Progress at Country Level 2014 . It provides an operational tools for stakeholders to support the framing of research and innovation.

This Economic and indicator-based analysis uses, among others tools, a new Innovation output Indicator adopted in 2013 by the Commission (COM(2013) 624 final). This indicator measures performance in innovation in the EU and outside:

  • To benchmarks national innovation policies
  • To monitor the EU’s performance against its main trading partners.

It complements the R&D intensity indicator** (3% target of the Europe 2020 Strategy) by focusing on innovation output.

“It measures the extent to which ideas streaming from innovative sectors are capable of reaching the market, providing better jobs and making Europe more competitive.”

Top performers in the EU are the countries with a high R&D intensity: Germany, Sweden. With a lower R&D intensity come Ireland and Luxembourg. Finland and Denmark are both strong in R&D intensity, patents and knowledge- intensive activities. Bulgaria, Latvia and Lithuania have a very low R&D intensity and have difficulties in improving their performance since 2010.

Innovation output indicator



Research and Innovation are at the heart of the Europe 2020 Strategy which relies on structural reforms at national level. At this stage, Member States remain far from reaching their national R&D targets under Europe 2020 (mainly a deficit in business R&D Expenditure).

Nevertheless, with the use of European Structural Funds, several Central and Eastern European countries (Slovakia, Estonia, Czech Republic) show strong growth rates in public R&D intensity since 2007.

Commission annual growth reports survey 2014 highlights 2 critical points:

  • Need to address growing skills disparities that are affecting the knowledge- intensive sectors
  • To foster public-private cooperation
( *the ratio of expenditures by a firm on research and development to the firm’s sales)

More information:

Europa website Innovation Union- Europe 2020 Strategy :

Interested in innovation?

ETCP launches a new seminar in Brussels: Innovation 2020: How to make it smart?

Registrations are open, pre-book your seat online: or contact us for detailed agenda