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The innovative performance of the Netherlands, the provinces, and the EU-27

data publication
25 June 2021
Innovation business
How innovative are European countries? And how innovative are the Dutch provinces? In this datapublication comparison of the Netherlands with the EU average on a summary indicator for the innovative performance of countries. We also discuss the innovative performance of the Dutch provinces.

In short

  • The Netherlands belongs to the group of strong innovators in 2021 and scores well above the EU average.
  • In previous years, the Netherlands was one of the innovation leaders. There is a small decrease in 2021.
  • At provincial level, the Netherlands has three innovation leaders, six strong innovators and three average innovators.

How innovative are the Netherlands and the EU-27 countries? 

Analysis
The European Innovation Scoreboard is a index composed of four different groups of indicators: 1) “framework conditions”, the main drivers of innovative performance outside companies; 2) “investments”, public and private investments in research and innovation; 3) “innovation activities”, the innovation activities of companies; and 4) "impacts", the effects of innovative activities of companies. At country level, the Netherlands belongs to the group of strong innovators in 2021 (a score between 100%-125% compared to the EU average=100%). In previous years, the Netherlands belonged to the group of innovation leaders (above 125% of the EU average). The Netherlands scores well above the EU average (38.5 percentage points in 2021).
 

How innovative are the Dutch provinces?

Analysis
At provincial level, the Netherlands has three innovation leaders in 2021 (20% above the EU average): Utrecht, Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland. This is followed by a group of provinces that are described as strong innovators: South Holland, Gelderland, Limburg, Groningen, Overijssel, Flevoland. Friesland, Zeeland and Drenthe are classified as average innovators.