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.