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Austria on the verge of entering the top ranks of innovators: European Innovation Scoreboard 2017 shows leap to 7th place

© EIS 2017

"Innovation Leaders" (DE, UK, NL, FI, DK, SE) are the countries which have an overall performance which is more than 120% higher than the EU average. With a performance level of 119%, Austria leads the second-ranked group of “Strong Innovators” (LU, BE, IE, F, SI). This is followed by the “Moderate Innovators” (SK, CY, IT, MT, ES, LT, EE, CZ, etc.) and the “Modest Innovators” (RO, BG, HR, PL).

“Over the last two years we have consistently invested in our main areas of strength and have been able to catch up in important areas. Austria has the second highest R&D investments in Europe, and particularly our small and medium-sized firms make an important contribution with new, innovative products. We are already tops in Europe with respect to the companies offering training in information and communications technologies. This underlines the enormous innovation potential of the national economy and shows that digitalization has already successfully gained a foothold in our companies”, Minister Mahrer continues. The number of patent applications as well as the internationally cited scientific publications, in which Austria ranks sixth in Europe in both cases, are impressive achievements. Moreover, Austria has shown a strong improvement with respect to foreign doctorate students, in which Austria has catapulted five notches to 8th place. According to the current study, Austria still has a need to catch up when it comes to complementary financing models such as venture capital (15th in Europe) and non-R&D innovation expenditures (19th).

“It is important to resolutely press ahead with this positive development. For this purpose, we have to create conducive underlying conditions so that companies as well as our researchers and scientists at universities will continue to be able to exploit their full potential. The next step should be the financing of places to study to bring our universities a major step closer to an international top level”, Mahrer concludes.

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