“Latvia’s rapid growth rates in the European innovation rating is an appreciation of the initiatives taken by Latvia in the development of the innovation environment, particularly by supporting companies in the introduction of innovative products and services, as well as in purchasing new production infrastructure. Latvia should continue targeted work on the development of the innovation environment in the long-term, while already developing ambitious innovation pilot projects today. Therefore, the Ministry of Economics is already developing strategic ecosystem projects in the field of smart cities, biomedicine and smart materials. It is the development of innovation that is one of the priorities of economy of the country, which will ensure faster growth of Latvian national economy in the medium and long term and will serve as a basis for increasing productivity and value added products,” notes Ralfs Nemiro, the Minister of Economics.
In the newly published European Innovation Scoreboards and Regional Innovation Scoreboards, the European Commission has appreciated Latvia’s efforts in developing the innovation environment. Latvia shows the third highest growth in the European Union, with performance increasing by 17.7 percentage points in the rating. Latvia is included in the “moderate innovators” group of countries whose innovation performance ranges from 50-90% of the EU-28 average. In the scoreboard, Latvia is ranked 24th in the competition among 28 countries, maintaining a constant position compared with the results of scoreboards of 2017 and 2018.
Experts from the European Commission have appreciated Latvia’s performance in three dimensions of innovation – Finance and support, Employment impacts and Innovation-friendly environment. Latvian performance in venture capital expenditures is particularly high, it is representing 148.2% of the EU average. Population with tertiary education and Employment in fast-growing enterprises in innovative sectors is also relatively high. The scoreboard also points out that Latvia needs to continue its work on increasing R&D expenditure in the business sector, as well as increasing the number of new doctorate graduates, which are currently relatively low.
The overall performance of the European Union in the field of innovation has been improving for four consecutive years, and for the first time in history European innovation performance is better than that of the United States. However, the EU still lags behind the persistently high performance of South Korea, Canada, Australia and Japan.
The European Innovation Scoreboard created by the European Commission includes 10 dimensions, taking into account 27 innovation-related indicators in areas like human resources, attractive research systems, innovation-friendly environment, finance and support, firm investments, innovators, linkages, intellectual assets, employment impacts and sales impacts.
The European Innovation Scoreboard is published on the website of the European Commission.