East Netherlands


EU Innovation Scoreboard 2020

The Netherlands is an innovation Leader, according to the Innovation scoreboard 2020, released by the European Commission.  Over time, performance has increased relative to that of the EU.  Sweden continues to be the EU innovation leader, followed by Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands.

EU’s performance

Europe’s innovation performance continues to improve across the EU, surpassingfor the second year the United States. On average, the innovation performance of the EU has increased by 8.9% since 2012.

The Netherlands

The Netherlands shows the highest positive difference to the EU in FDI net inflows, Top R&D spending enterprises and Basic-school entrepreneurial education and training, and the biggest negative difference in Employment share in manufacturing, Enterprise births and Employment share high and medium high-tech manufacturing. Read more about the Netherlands in EU’s Country report.


Country level

European Innovation Scoreboard country ranking.

Coloured columns show innovation performance in 2019, horizontal hyphens show performance in 2018, and grey columns show performance in 2012, all relative to the EU average in 2012.


Global level

At the global level, the EU has for the second year surpassed the United States. The EU continues to have a performance lead over the United States, China, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, and India. Since 2012, the EU’s performance gap with South Korea, Australia and Japan has increased, while the EU’s performance lead over the United States, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa has decreased. China has had the largest innovation performance growth rate amongst the EU’s main competitors since 2012, growing at more than five times that of the EU


Key findings

Within the EU, innovation performance continues to increase at a steady pace. Since a few years, the performance among Member States has been converging, a trend that is growing.


  • This year’s Scoreboard is marked by the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. This has had a small impact on the EU’s average innovation performance, but has not affected the relative performance of Member States in relation to EU’s global performance.
  • Sweden continues to be the EU Innovation Leader, followed by Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands. This year Luxembourg (previously a Strong Innovator) joins the group of Innovation Leaders, while Portugal (previously a Moderate Innovator) joins the group of Strong Innovators.


New Industrial Strategy

The EU’s research and innovation programme for the years 2021-27 with a proposed budget of € 94.4 billion, will help accelerate Europe’s environmental and digital transformation, as also highlighted in the EU’s new Industrial Strategy.


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