Web Date: March 1, 2007
Europe Is Closing Innovation Gap
According to its 2006 innovation "scoreboard," published in late January, the European Union's member countries are closing the gap in innovative capacity with the U.S. and Japan.
In part, the report suggests, the improvement reflects the innovative activities in the newer member countries, including Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Cyprus, Romania, and Bulgaria, as well as in Portugal and Greece. The progress in these countries stems from a growing number of science and engineering graduates, a greater use of trademarks and designs, and increased employment in medium- and high-tech industries.
The study notes that the EU is lagging in access to tertiary education. Currently, less than 25% of the region's population enrolls in college-level course work compared with 37% in Japan and 38% in U.S. The EU is also lagging in the number of patents granted and in the availability of early-stage venture capital.
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