The 22nd edition of the European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS 2023) highlights a substantial improvement in the innovation performance of approximately 8.5% since 2016, confirming the EU's commitment to fostering a culture of innovation. The EIS provides a comparative analysis of the research and innovation performance of EU Member States and selected third countries while presenting and comparing the relative strengths and weaknesses of research and innovation systems and assisting policymakers to assess the areas on which they should focus their efforts to boost innovation performance.
The innovation performance of 25 countries improved during this period, although at a slower pace in the more recent years, and 20 Member States experienced a significant rise in their innovation capabilities over the past year, while only seven observed a decline. Nevertheless, countries with weaker innovation systems tend to improve less rapidly than the EU average.
At the global level, the EU is still performing slightly better than China and is closing the performance gap with Australia, although the gap with Canada, the Republic of Korea, and the United States has expanded.
At the regional level, innovation performance has increased for 211 regions out of the total of 239 regions over the period since 2016, as shown in the Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2023. Despite the progress in innovation, the EU's innovation divide persists and is predominantly shaped by geographic concentrations. While Innovation Leaders and most Strong innovators are predominantly located in Northern and Western Europe, many of the Moderate and Emerging innovators are in Southern and Eastern Europe.
In general, the most innovative regions tend to be located within the most innovative countries, although some exceptionally innovative pockets can be observed in countries with relatively lower innovation performance. This divide emphasises the need for targeted efforts to bridge the innovation gap and foster equitable growth across the EU with strategic policies and initiatives such as the European Innovation Agenda, the Deep Tech Talen Initiative or the Regional Innovation Valleys, among others, that aim to foster deep tech innovation and promote a start-up culture.