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European Commission Works Towards a New Indicator for Measuring Innovation Output!

The European Commission has recently published a new working document, titled: “Measuring Innovation Output in Europe: Towards a new Indicator”. For decades now many stakeholders have measured tools to measure the innovation on a national and international level. The European Commission has now developed its own indicator, measuring the share of fast-growing innovative companies in the European economy.


The indicator of the EC is an output-oriented indicator measuring the innovation performance of a country and its capacity to benefit from innovation. It also captures the dynamism of innovative entrepreneurial activities. According to the authors, the indicator is not a replacement of the Innovation Union Scoreboard or the Summary Innovation Index, however rather offers a complemntary function. The new indicator exclusively focusses on innovation output and monitors a reduced set of dimensions (e.g. the contribution to job creation of fast-growing firms).


Interestingly enough, the indicator consists out of the following four components:

  • Measurement of the ability of the economy to transform knowledge into marketable innovations
  • How the supply of highly skilled people feeds into the economic structure of a country
  • Competitiveness of the knowledge-intensive sectors
  • Employment in fast-growing innovative enterprises, indicating the innovation dynamism of fast-growing companies as compared to all fast-growing business activities.

The score produced by the final indicator showed some interesting results (page 26 and 27 of the Staff Working Document), with Japan leading the ranking in 2010 and 2011 (133,9 & 134,2), followed by Sweden (126,4 & 127,5) and Germany (125,9 & 126,1). Even whilst the United States were still outperforming the European Union in 2010, the two showed the same score in 2011 (104,4).


Overall, the indicator offers an interesting insight into the innovation output, and is certainly worth keeping an eye on. Interested in learning more about the composition of the indicator, its background and the final scores? Please download the PDF document here.



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