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Tuesday, 11th February 2014

Innovation Union Competitiveness Report 2013

Source: European Commission

From Executive Summary:

The EU is facing increasing world competition, in particular at the higher end of global value chains. In 2011, more than 70 % of the world’s knowledge production was taking place outside the EU, and half of the world’s scientists and engineers lived outside the triad1. Since 2008, developed Asian countries have gained increasing shares of global value chain income including income from medium-high and high-tech products.

Europe remains however today the main knowledge production centre in the world, accounting for almost a third of the world’s science and technology production. The EU has managed to maintain its competitive knowledge position to a greater degree than the United States and Japan and is making progress towards its R&D intensity target of 3 % by 2020. The EU also remains a very attractive location for R&D investment. In 2011, the EU was the main destination of FDI in the world, receiving around 30 % of FDI inflows worldwide, more than the United States or Japan.

However, the US and Asian research and innovation efforts are often more strategically oriented. Science and technology development in Asia and the United States are more focused on transformative and pervasive technologies and more oriented towards emerging global markets. The United States is strengthening its profile as a world leading centre for science and technology in health, biotechnologies, nanotech and ICT. China is the world biggest producer of scientific publications in the fields of energy and ICT, while Japan has the highest rate of technology development in energy and in environmental technologies. In comparison, the EU is less focused on strategic areas and tends to scatter its efforts on a wider range of scientific fields and technologies, with the risk of dominating none.

To stay competitive and enjoy sustained growth a knowledge economy must be based on high value added goods and services. The EU Member States that have been the most resilient to the current economic crisis, such as Germany and the Nordic countries have high R&D intensities and innovation dynamics. This corroborates new findings that R&D intensity is positively correlated with total factor productivity growth.

+ Direct link to Report (PDF; 10.6 MB)


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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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