According to the results of the latest European Innovation Scoreboard, Estonia remains among strong innovators for third year in a row, but has made the biggest development leap in past seven years.
Based on their results, the scoreboard divides countries into four categories: innovation leaders, strong innovators, moderate innovators and emerging innovators.
Sweden continues as an innovation leader, similar to 2020, and is followed by Finland, Denmark, Denmark and Belgium. Estonia is among strong innovators together with Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The indicators of all strong innovators have improved since 2014, but the biggest leap belongs to Estonia (35.4 percentage points) that made a significant development in 2019 and this year. The Netherlands and Germany come as second and third in terms of improving results (an increase of 12-13 percentage points).
According to the Head of the Research Department of the Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia Katrin Pihor, Estonia stands out for its innovation cooperation between companies. A lot is done in product and process innovation and companies' expenses for innovation are high. "Our results in lifelong learning and in international scientific cooperation are also remarkably good," pointed Pihor out.
However, the low level of private sector research and development capacity is still a concern for Estonian innovation. The companies themselves invest little and the state support for companies’ investments is also modest. "Therefore, it is expected that the volume of exports of medium- and high-tech and knowledge-intensive products in Estonia will be significantly lower than the European average as well as low employment in fast-growing companies," she added.
The European Innovation Scoreboard compares different innovation-related indicators both in the EU countries and in other countries in Europe and its neighboring regions. Various innovation-related indicators are evaluated, such as innovation-friendly environments, intellectual property (including patent and trademark applications), attractiveness of the research system, support measures, human resources (including the proportion of people with higher education, participation in lifelong learning, protection of the doctorate) etc.
Further information: European innovation scoreboard 2021