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INNOVATION

Sweden dominates EU innovation ranking

Thrice the charm for Swedish brains as Sweden yet again tops the EU Commission's list of industrial innovators in the European Union.

Sweden dominates EU innovation ranking

For the third year in a row, Sweden finished first pm the Innovation Union Scoreboard, again nudging Germany, Denmark, and Finland aside in the top tier of countries performing well above the EU average.

2013 showed a general improvement for the union’s 27 member states, according to the findings.

“The EU27 has managed to significantly close its performance gap with both the US and Japan but the gap with South Korea has increased,” the report stated.

“Innovation performance in the EU has improved year on year in spite of the continuing economic crisis,” the commission wrote in a statement.

“But the innovation divide between member states is widening.”

The report singled out Poland, Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria as “modest innovators”, well below the EU average. Yet Sweden’s Baltic neighbours Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia climbed the most from last year’s list.

Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was pleased with Sweden’s continued success.

“Nice to see that Sweden is ranked as the No 1 innovation country in the EU. We must strive to keep that position,” he tweeted from his official account on Tuesday morning.

Following Sweden on the list is Germany, Denmark, and Finland.

The annual Innovation Union Scoreboard compiles statistics on for example how much of companies’ budgets goes on research and development in proportion to the national GDP, or what percentage of the population has gone through tertiary education as well as the number of doctoral graduates and scientific studies getting published.

Oliver Gee

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INNOVATION

Sweden named world’s third most innovative country

Sweden has slipped slightly but remains one of the most innovative nations in the world, according to a new international survey.

Sweden named world's third most innovative country
Photo: Depositphotos
The 2018 Global Innovation Index (GII), released on Wednesday, ranked Sweden as the third most innovative country behind only Switzerland and the Netherlands. Sweden dropped one spot from last year’s index, swapping positions with the Netherlands. 
 
Compiled by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell University and France's INSEAD business school, the innovation study is described as a “detailed quantitative tool that helps global decision makers better understand how to stimulate the innovative activity that drives economic and human development”. 
 
It looks at over 80 indicators ranging from rule of law (where Sweden took first place), patent applications (also first) to knowledge and technology outputs (third place) and even Wikipedia edits (third place).  
 
Sweden jumped up five spots to sixth in the overall category of ‘creative outputs’ and saw a marked improvement in the sub-category of ‘ecologofical sustainability’, where it moved up from 20th to 12th.
 
Although Sweden was once again singled out as one of the world’s most innovative countries, the GII also pointed to weaknesses including its pupil to teacher ratio in secondary schools, purchasing power, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and productivity growth. 
 
Seven of the top ten and 15 of the top 25 countries in the 2018 GII were in Europe. 
 
“The EU as a whole is clearly an important force for innovation, in particular if one considers the EU-wide efforts on education, the R&D expenditure of the region, and the combined IP filings or its output in the area of total high-tech manufacturing,” the report read. 
 
Rounding out the overall top ten behind Sweden were the United Kingdom, Singapore, the United States, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Israel. At the bottom of the 126-country ranking was Yemen. 
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