Station in Stockholm Sweeden

The most innovative city in Europe is Stockholm

The most innovative city in Europe is Stockholm

While the European Union scored higher than China, it was still well behind South Korea

Stockholm ranks highest in the European Innovation Scoreboard as Sweden continues to be the leading country, followed by Finland, Denmark and Belgium, all performing well above the EU average. Even though the innovation performance has increased by 12.5% in Europe as a whole since 2014, the EU is still ranking below South Korea, Canada, Australia, the US and Japan.

At the same time, the innovation performance has increased in 225 of the EU’s 240 regions over the past seven years.

This makes Stockholm the most innovative region in Europe, followed by Etelä-Suomi, in Finland, and Oberbayern, in Germany, while Hovedstaden, in Denmark, is in fourth place.

Innovation Leaders, Strong Innovators, Moderate Innovators and Emerging Innovators

The map shows the different groups of European countries, based on their score. It is evident that they tend to bunch up in the different geographic corners of the continent, revealing a noticeable disparity. Innovation Leaders and Strong Innovators are located in the Western and Northern parts of Europe, while most of the Moderate and Emerging Innovators are in the South and the East.

Innovation Map of EuropeAn Innovation map of Europe, Source: The European Commission, 2021

The most innovative country in the world is South Korea, performing 21% better than the European Union in 2021. At the same time, the EU is still ahead of China, Brazil, South Africa and Russia.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, commented on the occasion: “Europe's commitment to innovation is shown by its continuous improvement in innovation performance. All EU Member States and regions are invested more in innovation and the innovation gap in the EU is decreasing. In support of Europe's innovation capacity, Horizon Europe will promote excellence and support top researchers and innovators to drive the systemic changes needed to ensure a green, healthy and resilient Europe.”

The EU's research and innovation programme for the years 2021-2027 is called Horizon Europe and its budget of 95.5 billion euros will help accelerate Europe's environmental and digital transformations. Over the same period, The Cohesion Policy will invest over €56.8 billion in research and innovation and digitalisation providing the skilled labour required for a carbon-neutral economy.

On 23 June, the European Commission is hosting this year's edition of the Research and Innovation Days, a mega-conference on who’s who and what’s what in the EU innovation scene. You can register and attend the event by clicking here.

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