Ireland is positioned ahead of European average, with Small and Medium Enterprises and positive employment trends recognised by the EU.
Ireland moved up to ninth place in the European Innovation Scoreboard 2018, a ranking of Europe’s most innovative countries, published by the European Commission.
The European Innovation Scoreboard ranks all 28 EU member states and a select number of non-members based on research and innovation performance.
Introduced in 2010, this year’s scoreboard reports that Ireland’s innovation performance has improved 8.5% since 2010, ahead of the overall European average of 5.8%.
The European Commission ranks countries under four categories: innovation leaders, strong innovators, moderate innovators, and modest innovators.
In ninth place, Ireland is positioned in the strong innovators group.
The scoreboard recognised Ireland for innovative SMEs; employment impacts, particularly increased employment in knowledge-intensive areas and fast-growing companies; and sales impacts, or the economic impact of high-tech and innovative activities and exports.
Sweden led the 2018 rankings as an innovation leader.
Earlier this year, Ireland moved up three places to rank 13th in the Bloomberg Innovation Index 2018, a list of the world’s most innovative countries.
The rankings confirm Ireland’s growing reputation for innovation, a key source of competitive advantage for companies established in the country.
In November 2017, Ireland was named first for skills and innovation in the EU Commission’s 2017 Fact Sheet.
Enterprise Ireland, the national export agency, has 14 Technology Centres, 15 Technology Gateways and 12 Science Foundation Research Centres, which focus on cutting-edge areas including big data, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, digital content, nanotechnology, sustainable food, smart technologies and marine renewable energy. In each of these centres, scientists and engineers work in partnership with academia and industry to pursue crucial research questions with commercial potential.
The Irish Government supports these activities, as it builds on two decades of investment in science and technology with the implementation of its Innovation 2020 strategy.