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Will Bulgaria And Romania Move From The Bottom Of EU’s Innovation Scoreboard?

Last year, the European Commission published an innovation scoreboard showing innovation performance across the EU. Countries are split into four groups: innovation leaders, strong innovators, moderate innovators, and modest innovators. Northern Europe seems to be leading the way with Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands occupying the first four places. Bulgaria and Romania are on the other side of the spectrum, taking up the bottom two positions and the ‘Modest Innovators’ title.  The study looks at a number of indicator groups: framework conditions (human resources, attractive research systems, and innovation-friendly environment), investments, innovation activities, impacts, and structural data (e.g. GDP per capita and total entrepreneurial conditions.
Bulgaria has been improving its performance very incrementally since 2011 with the EU average increase for period standing at 8.8%. In the years until 2018, innovation performance increased in 25 EU countries, the most in Lithuania, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Estonia, and the Netherlands and has decreased in Romania and Slovenia.
EU’s regional scoreboards reveal that one region in Bulgaria actually falls into the Moderate Innovator category, that being the Southwestern one where the capital city of Sofia is located. Compared to the EU, the region shows relative strengths in trademark applications and relative
weaknesses in the domain of most-cited scientific publications.

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