EU ECONOMY: INNOVATION SKILLS, SWEDEN FIRST, EASTERN COUNTRIES LATE” “

(SIR Europe – Brussels) – An economy with many sectors with high a research degree; rapidly growing innovative firms, a high number of patents and export competitiveness: those are the main factors making an economic system capable of producing innovation in accordance with a new indicator proposed by the EU Commission. Following such indicator, Sweden, Germany, Ireland and Luxemburg "are the Member States exploiting innovation in the best way". The indicator of innovation results "is to which extent ideas coming from innovation sectors can reach the market". It is based on four components: technological innovation (number of patents); employment in activities with high knowledge degree; goods and services competitiveness; employment in innovation sector enterprise. Taking 100 as the EU medium level of innovation, Sweden, for instance, is 128. United Kingdom and France are just above the average; Belgium, Austria, Italy and Spain are below the average. Almost all Eastern countries and Portugal are in the last places. Research Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn says: "The EU must be able to change a higher number of ideas into successful products and services to be a leader in the global economy. We must also fill an important innovation gap" with respect to Japan and China.” “

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