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The fifth edition of the European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS), relating to the year 2005, was published in January. The EIS provides an indicator of inputs and outputs in research and development and their translation into innovation.
The 2005 results are mixed. Innovation in the EU as a whole lags far behind that in the USA and Japan. The gap to Japan has even widened over time, while that to the US has not narrowed. But the EU average hides very important differences between the different European countries. Like in many European rankings, the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland and Sweden are in the top group, but, surprisingly, so is Germany. Most "old EU countries" are to be found in an average-performing mid-field, but some, such as Spain and Portugal, find themselves in a less enviable position. Most of the ten “new member states” are at the bottom of tables. Compared to earlier years, some of them have fallen further behind, while others are catching up. However, even those who improve fastest such as Hungary and Slovenia would take 20 more years to reach the EU average, at present speed.
In the words of EU Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen, “the scoreboard clearly shows that we have to do more for innovation".European Commission - Press Release