The Netherlands continues to be an innovation leader. In the authoritative European Innovation Scoreboard 2019 (EIS), the Netherlands ranks amongst the four strongest innovators, together with Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, unlike 2018, no longer rank amongst the innovation leaders.
The EIS assesses 28 countries on indicators such as public-private partnerships, investments in research and development, the impact of innovation by SMEs, digitization, quality of (research) studies and the level of employment within innovative companies and knowledge institutions. The innovation leaders are the countries that score more than 20 percent above the EU average. The Netherlands scores 24 percent above this year.
Dutch innovation climate
State Secretary Mona Keijzer of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy said: “This is a nice appreciation for our innovative entrepreneurs, our knowledge institutions and the amount of public investment. We are a top country for innovation, but there is room for growth.”
Keijzer said business investment in research and development could be even better. “I want to contribute to this by, for example, making extra money available for innovative startups and scale-ups and by ensuring better access to investors. Only in this way can we maintain our strong international competitive position, which creates jobs and income.”
Utrecht and North Brabant
In addition to countries, the EIS also assesses European regions for their innovation power. In this comparison, the provinces of Utrecht and North-Brabant perform strongly. Utrecht is the 9th best region for innovation in Europe, scoring high on higher education and public-private partnerships. North Brabant, ranked 15th, is particularly strong in the number of registered patents. This is due to the locally-situated companies Philips and ASML. North Holland is also one of the 25 most innovative regions in the EU.
In 2016, the Netherlands achieved the designation of innovation leader for the first time. According to the EIS, significant improvements in the Dutch innovation climate in recent years have mainly been achieved in the area of financing and sufficient availability of risk capital. Together with Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and the United Kingdom, the Netherlands has since 2011 also improved its innovative strength the most in relative terms of all EU countries.
The Netherlands also scores far above average in the EIS for the quality of scientific publications, the number of patent applications, indicators for the labor force such as lifelong learning and preconditions such as excellent networks for fixed and mobile communication.
The full European Innovation Scoreboard 2019 can be read on the website of the European Commission.
Source: European Commission