The Regional Innovation Scoreboard is a regional extension of the European Innovation Scoreboard, assessing the innovation performance of European regions on a limited number of indicators. The RIS 2016 covers 214 regions across 22 EU countries and Norway. In addition, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Malta are included at country level.
Ireland is a Strong Innovator. Irish innovation performance increased until 2012. Performance declined strongly in 2013, after which it increased again in 2014-2015. Performance relative to the EU shows a similar trend, with a significant drop in 2013, and increased relative performance in 2014-2015.
Ireland’s relative strengths are in Innovators and Human resources. Ireland performs well above the EU average on License and patent revenues from abroad and International scientific co-publications. Other strong performing indicators are Exports of knowledge-intensive services and Employment in knowledge-intensive activities. Relative weaknesses are in Community designs, Non-R&D innovation expenditures, and R&D expenditures in the public sector.
Performance has increased considerably in License and patent revenues from abroad (29%), International scientific co-publications (7.3%), and New doctorate graduates (6.3%). Performance has declined most in Non-R&D innovation expenditures (-12%) and Venture capital investments (-8.8%).
The Southern and Eastern (S&E) Region and the Border, Midland and Western (BMW) region are both categorised as Strong Innovators. The S&E Region was previously categorised an Innovation Leader.
Innovation performance has decreased (-7%) in the S&E region compared to two years ago. The relative strengths of the region compared to the EU28 are in SMEs with marketing or organisational innovations, Tertiary education attainment, and SMEs innovating in-house and Exports of medium and high tech products. Relative weaknesses are in Public R&D expenditures, Non-R&D innovation expenditures, and EPO patent applications.
The region of the BMW is also categorised as a Strong Innovator. Innovation performance has decreased (-8%) compared to two years ago. The relative strengths of the BMW region compared to the EU28 are in SMEs with marketing or organisational innovations, SMEs innovating in-house, and Tertiary education attainment and Exports of medium and high tech products. Similar relative weaknesses as observed in the S&E region are Public R&D expenditures and Non-R&D innovation expenditures with Sales of new product innovations also identified.
The most innovative regions are located in the most innovative countries, although regional innovative hubs exist in moderate innovator countries: Piemonte and Friuli-Venezia Giulia in Italy, País Vasco in Spain and Bratislavský kraj in Slovakia.
Specialisation in Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) increases regional innovation performance.
In Belgium, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands and Romania, performance declined in all regions, and in all other countries except Bulgaria, performance declined for at least one out of two regions. Bulgaria is the only country where performance increased for all regions.
Business R&D expenditures are highest in several regions of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden), Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Slovenia, Southern France and the Paris region, Southern Netherlands, large parts of Germany, much of the Czech Republic, and Southern UK.
Regions with a high share of non-R&D innovation expenditures in SMEs are distributed across the whole of Europe, with at least one region performing at least 20% above the EU average in 15countries. The share of non-R&D innovation expenditures is low in Bulgaria, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Romania, and Spain, where all regions, except Sud-Est (RO22), perform (well) below the EU average.
Performance in the share of SMEs that introduced a marketing or organisational innovation is to some extent determined by the performance of the country. Regions where performance is at least 20% above the EU average are mostly found in Austria, France, Germany (all regions except Saarland (DEC0)), Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal (all regions except Norte (PT11)), and the UK.
Innovation excellence is concentrated in relatively few areas in Europe. All 36 EU regional Innovation Leaders are located in seven EU Member States: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
For most countries, there is limited variation in regional performance groups, suggesting that regional and national innovation performances are linked. However, a stronger variation in some (mainly larger) countries also highlights regional specificities and the existence of regional 'pockets of excellence'.
In Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland and Romania, all regions are in the same performance group, and in 12 countries, there are two different regional performance groups. Only in four larger Member States (France, Germany, Italy and Spain), there are three different regional performance groups.
The RIS 2016 replicates the European Innovation Scoreboard methodology used at national level to measure performance of regional systems of innovation. The RIS 2016 uses data for 12 of the 25 indicators used in the EIS for 214 regions across Europe. Compared to the RIS 2014, the number of indicators has increased thanks to the availability of regional data on exports of medium-high and high technology-intensive manufacturing industries. As both Germany and Greece are now covered at the NUTS2 level, the nominal number of regions covered has increased as well.
There are large differences of regional data availability across countries. Data availability is very good for the whole nine-year period at 95% or more for seven countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia), good (below 95% but above average) for eight countries (Austria, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Sweden), below average for three countries (Croatia, Norway and the UK) and far below average for five countries (Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland and the Netherlands).
Text, maps and graphs extracted from the Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2016.
Overview of RIS