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Following the publication of the European Innovation Scoreboard 2008 (EIS) last month (for further details see the February edition of the ACA Newsletter – Education Europe) the freshly-published Nordic Innovation Monitor 2009 strives to shed some light on and rate the innovation capacity of, this time, Nordic countries (against other 20 OECD countries). In methodological terms, the report measures countries’ innovation capacity on four drivers of: ICT, human resources, knowledge creation and entrepreneurship. The results are derived from a number of 165 indicators collected from international sources such as the OECD, the International Monetary Fund and Eurostat, to name a few. The overall conclusion is that the Nordic Region performs well compared to other leading regions in the area of ICT, while entrepreneurship is the only domain where the Nordics are lagging behind the English-speaking countries.
When looking more closely, one might expect the findings of the two reports to perfectly match. Well, that is not entirely the case. While the EIS measures innovation performance only, the Nordic exercise also assesses the countries’ capacity in terms of framework conditions for innovation. Iceland seems to be doing best among the five when it comes to the latter. In terms of innovation performance, the rankings in the two reports differ slightly: the EIS places Sweden as the frontrunner (when referring to the Nordics only), followed by Finland, Denmark, Iceland, and Norway, while in the Nordic Innovation Monitor the ranking is: Denmark(4), Sweden(5), Iceland(6), Finland(7), and Norway(15). There might be more factors to account for the dissimilarity. Therefore, one should have a more in-depth look at the two reports before launching hypotheses or passing judgment.