Slovenia is the fastest growing innovation follower and the regional leader and the only Eastern European country in the group together with countries like the UK, France and Netherlands among the innovation followers, says the latest European Commission’s Innovation Union Scoreboard. Only four countries rank in the first group among the innovation leaders: Sweden, Germany, Finland and Denmark. Slovenia’s performance has been steadily improving since the EC’s first scoreboard in 2007, having grown on average by 2.6 per cent since then – only three EU members have improved faster.
The survey takes into account 25 performance indicators grouped into eight innovation dimensions. Slovenia shows above average results in four dimensions: human resources, firm R&D investment, performance in linkages and entrepreneurship, and intellectual assets. The European Comission’s analysis emphasises that particular relative strengths are in International scientific co-publications, public-private co-publications, community designs and R&D expenditures in the business sector. Strong relative weaknesses are observed for License and patent revenues from abroad and Non-EU doctorate students.
One of Slovenia’s key advantages are its human resources: highly skilled people with solid educations. The other important dimension, as revealed by the EC’s survey, is the relative strength of businesses: their relative R&D investments being highly above average. The country’s score for innovation of products and processes in small and mid-size companies is also above average. What’s particularly interesting is that innovation is mostly done in cooperation with other companies or public research institutions, rather than strictly in-house. Another observation is that intellectual assets are the fastest improving dimension. Patent revenues from abroad are a relative weakness, yet simultaneously one of the most rapidly improving areas.