EU needs to step up its research and innovation performance, report finds

16/03/2016
Science, research and innovation boost economic growth and create high-quality jobs. They are key to creating a Digital Single Market and Energy Union in the EU, and to strengthening the EU's role as a global actor. The EU therefore needs to invest in the future and step up its performance in research and innovation. This is the message of the report 'Science, Research and Innovation Performance of the EU', published today by the Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation.

One of the report's major findings is that the EU's productivity gap with the United States continues to widen. Labour productivity is 15% lower in the EU and the gap has widened since the economic and financial crisis, in particular for the advanced European economies. This is due to a relative underinvestment in research, although the EU's R&D intensity has progressed to over 2% GDP since the start of the crisis, and an inability to re-orient the economy towards knowledge-intensive activities, with the EU continuing to specialise in medium-high tech sectors such as automobiles.

Speaking at a launch event at the Lisbon Council, Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "The EU is a global leader of science and technology, but for our economy to benefit from being ever more dynamic and innovation intensive, we must continue to be proactive in creating the right conditions for innovation to succeed. This report will provide policymakers from across Europe with the hard facts and insights they need to tackle the innovation challenges we face. The Commission's own efforts remain focused on the priorities of Open Innovation, Open Science and Open to the World."

The report presents a detailed analysis of the EU's science, research and innovation performance in relation to three main challenges: converting research results and new technologies into innovations on the market; improving the EU's share of the very best scientific output in the world; and helping Europe to improve its standing in international research cooperation and science diplomacy.

 

Source: European Commission