Innovating in Europe

The Netherlands places 6th on the list, making it one of the top “innovation followers” within the EU. Nordic countries Sweden, Finland and Denmark top the 2014 list ­– as they did the 2013 scoreboard – and are thus titled “innovation leaders”. Countries that score above average are designated “innovation followers”. The Netherlands is one of the top performers in this group, outperforming France, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Countries scoring marginally below average are “moderate innovators”, and include Spain and Italy. The least innovative countries in the EU are designated “modest innovators”. Bulgaria and Romania fall into this category.

Innovation Union Scoreboard

The annual IUS report includes innovation indicators and trend analysis for the European Union’s 27 member states, as well as for Croatia, Iceland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey. It also includes comparisons between the 27 EU nations and 10 other global competitors. The final scorecard is derived from 25 different innovation indicators, all of which fall into one of eight categories: human resources; research systems; finance and support; firm investments; linkages and entrepreneurship; innovators; and economic effects.

The Amsterdam Area as a research hub

The Netherlands scores particularly well on research systems, coming top in this category. Within the Netherlands, the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area plays an important role as a research hub. This is reflected in the growth in the number of businesses involved with Red Life Sciences (health and medical equipment) in the Amsterdam Area, with industry leaders such as EpiVax, Sunset Laboratories, MakrOrganics and ClodLip having set up shop here in the past year.