Monday, January 16, 2006

US and Japan lead in innovation

The Europeans want to be innovative, but they are behind and not catching up.
Scandinavia is the best when it comes to innovation in the EU 25, but offers no competition to worldbeaters America and Japan, according to a new study. The EU's executive arm is concerned. The Nordic countries are the most innovative in Europe but most of the economically embattled continent is failing to catch up with the United States and Japan, the European Commission said Thursday.
Source: Deutch-Weille This isn't creative writing, but the multiple facets required for leadership in technical products - an ares Europe has long taken pride in. It includes 26 criteria such as research spending, access to venture capital and the number of trademark registrations.
Most of the EU's older member states were lumped in the middle of the ranking neither falling behind nor making much progress advancing up the innovation ladder. Europe's poorer eastern countries, many of which joined the EU in 2004, put in a mixed performance. The Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia were seen catching up while Bulgaria, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey but also Spain were losing ground. But the commission warned that Europe was broadly not catching up with the United States and that action needed to taken to boost innovation. "Should the trend continue in terms of innovation in the 25 European Union member states the innovation gap we have been seeing in the last year between Europe and United States for example will not close," commission spokesman Gregor Kreuzhuber told journalists.
Japan is doing very well. And when you aren't getting close to the goal you are tempted to move the goal closer: "Last year, EU members states watered down an ambitious programme to boost the EU's competitiveness after they consistently failed to meet the original targets when it was launched in 2000 in Lisbon with the aim to make the EU the most competitive economy in the world."

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