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The European Commission’s Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry has published the results of the 2007 European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS). Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the UK and Germany are the EU countries in the top innovator group, together with the US, Japan, Switzerland and Israel. The second-best group, made up of ‘innovation followers’, includes Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Ireland, Austria, France and Belgium, as well as the non-EU countries Iceland and Canada. The report shows that a process of convergence is going on within the EU, with the gap between the most and the least innovative countries shrinking. The US is still significantly ahead of the EU average, but Europe has caught up gradually over the last five years, especially in ICT investments, broadband penetration, early stage venture capital, and international patents. On the other hand, Europe is falling behind the US in public expenditure on research and development.
The EIS makes an annual assessment of innovation performance in the EU and other leading innovative countries. The innovation performance is calculated on the basis of 25 indicators. They cover innovation produced by higher education institutions, but also, and more important, companies.