Netherlands ranks 4th in European Innovation Scoreboard

8 Oct 2017 | Genoveva Geppaart

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The European Commission provides an annual comparative analysis of how EU  and some other countries perform regarding of innovation. In the 2017 edition the Netherlands ranks 4th. Over the past six years the Netherlands’ innovative performance increased 10.4 % more than the EU average. The 2017 analytical framework is different from previous years. Therefore the results cannot directly be compared with those from previous editions.


Research methodology

The European Commission used 27 indicators to determine the level of innovation for each country. The indicators are divided into four categories:

  • Framework conditions: the main innovation drivers of in three areas. These are: human resources, attractive research systems and innovation-friendly environment.
  • Investments: both public and private investments in research and innovation. The dimensions are: external and internal finance and support as well as firm investments.
  • Innovation activities: the innovation efforts at the company level in three areas. These are innovators, linkages (small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) collaborating with others, public-private co-publishers and private co-funding of public R&D expenses) and intellectual assets.
  • Impacts: how innovation benefits the economy . The areas are employment impact and sales effect.


Performance of the Netherlands

The Netherlands scores well in attractive research systems, human resources and linkages. Relative weaknesses are investments, sales impact and intellectual assets.  An overview of how the Netherlands performs is available on



General European performance

Globally, Europe is less innovative than  Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea and the US. The EU outperforms China regarding innovation but this is decreasing because China is improving its innovation very fast.  Outside the EU, Switzerland is the overall innovative leader in Europe.

In the coming two years it is expected that the EU will catch up with the US. Japan and South Korea will continue to lead in terms of innovation and China will continue to grow fast.


On you can download the main report, country profiles, the methodology report, the relative performance compared to EU in 2010 and the performance per indicator.  You find here also the European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) Interactive Tool which allows custom comparisons of performance scores,  country profiles comparisons, as well as correlations between scores.





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