The Netherlands retains its status as ‘innovation leader’ on the European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS), a yearly published comparative analysis of innovation performance of EU member states. Countries get marks for 27 performance indicators, such as R&D investments, quality of research output and digitization. Countries scoring above 120 percent of EU average are considered innovation leaders. The Netherlands scored 124 percent above average in 2019.
The Netherlands is joined by Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Luxembourg and the United Kingdom this year dropped to the ‘strong innovator’ category, for which countries need to score 90 to 120 percent of EU average. Other strong innovators include Belgium, France and Germany.
Not only does the Netherlands belong to the European innovation elite, it was also one of the countries that most improved its score over the past few years. Compared to 2011, the Netherlands increased its performance by 16.1 percentage points. The EU as a whole improved for the fourth year in a row, surpassing the USA for the first time, but remains substantially behind Japan and South Korea.