KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
15th June 2018
We strongly recommend viewing KBzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.
Welcome to the
When it comes to innovation, the European Union still leads India and Russia, but is failing to close the innovation gap with its main competitors, the US and Japan, according to figures released by the European Commission on Tuesday. That innovation gap is being closed by other countries though, with Brazil making steady progress and China catching up quickly.
In measuring the innovation levels in Europe, the Commission evaluated the countries based on 25 indicators that fall into three broad categories: building blocks that allow innovation; investments, entrepreneurship and intellectual assets, and economic outputs.
Sweden ranks top in innovation, followed by Denmark, Finland and Germany.
After the leaders come the innovation followers: the UK, Belgium, Austria, Ireland, Luxembourg, France, Cyprus, Slovenia and Estonia, in that order.
Below the EU average on the innovation scale are Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain.
Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania are classed as "the laggards".
The first scoreboard under the Innovation Union initiative comes just days before EU leaders meet in Brussels for a one-day summit on energy and innovation.
According to draft conclusions obtained by EurActiv, leaders are expected to call for:
* A European Research Area to be completed by 2014 to create what has been dubbed "a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation";
* Rapid progress, to ensure the Digital Single Market is created by 2015, and;
* The Commission to present a proposal by the end of this year to lift the legal and administrative blocks to cross-border venture capital funds, a major problem for small- and medium-sized companies in search of fresh capital.
"Innovation is as essential to a successful modern economy as water is to life. It is at the core of economic policymaking and the main way economies create jobs," said Antonio Tajani, commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship, launching the report. "If Europe stands still we will see the US disappear into the distance just as we feel emerging nations breathing down our necks."
The message seems to be a good one, but I can't help wondering how much it's going to cost all the EU's taxpayers to fund all the bureaucrats who'll be setting it up and running it.
Of course when it comes to innovation, this particular industry seems to leave others standing and the issue as far as I can see, is how to let people know about it! Obviously KBZine can help and we're looking forward to attending as many exhibitions and launches as we can over the coming year. In the meantime though, if you have any news you'd like to share with our readers, do make sure you send it in for consideration.
4th February 2011