Europe remains a global research and innovation powerhouse but…

On 20 February, the Commission published the Science, Research and Innovation performance of the European Union 2018 report.

One of the main conclusions of the report is that although Europe has a unique opportunity to lead the next wave of breakthrough innovation, it needs to translate its global scientific leadership into innovation and entrepreneurial leadership.

The report finds that overall Europe remains a global research and innovation powerhouse. However, it fails to invest as much as other economies in business R&D, education and skills development, ICT and economic competences. Notwithstanding its public R&D investment capacity and scientific performance, Europe lags behind the United States, Japan, South Korea and even China in private and overall R&D investment levels. This investment gap, notably for private R&D investment, has been widening in recent years. These lower investment levels in many relevant assets for innovation translate into Europe’s limited ability to capitalise on its strong and excellent scientific base to spur technological development and innovation.

Against this background, the report identifies a number of actions the EU needs to take to become a frontrunner in innovation:

  • Prioritise innovation investment both in national and EU budgets; 
  • Introduce new approaches to innovation support that can maximise the impacts of public investment and leverage more private innovation investment;
  • Adapt regulatory frameworks to incentivise innovation, by ensuring that new regulation assesses its full impact on innovation while minimising regulatory uncertainty for innovators; 
  • Foster innovation-friendly business environment, by fulfilling the European Single Market and supporting reforms that improve the functioning of markets.


The report analyses Europe's performance in science, research and innovation and the driving factors behind that performance in a global context. It combines thorough indicator-based macroeconomic analysis with deep analytical research on important policy topics. This is a flagship publication for the Commission's research and innovation department. New editions come out every 2 years.

The full 2018 report can be found here.

Date: 08/03/2018 | Tag: | News: 746 of 757
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