Press Release 26/10/2018


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The Basque Country is at the same level as countries with high innovation according to the European Innovation Scoreboard EIS 2018

It improved three hundredths compared to the previous year, being amongst those countries that registered the greatest progression

The European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) 2018, stood at 0.48 in the Basque Country, remaining at two hundredths below the EU-28 average, which had a value of 0.50, according to Eustat data. This placed the Basque Country at the level of the group of countries with high innovation, obtaining an average of more than 90% of the EU, specifically 94.7%, whereas Spain, with a value of 0.40, 80% of the European average, was amongst the moderately innovative countries.

The EIS scoreboard is continuously revised, in terms of both its component indicators and its calculation formula, but also because every year the most up-to-date data on the countries is incorporated, requiring the entire series to be recalculated. In fact, taking into account the aforementioned recalculation, the EIS has improved, in the case of the Basque Country, three hundredths compared to the EIS corresponding to 2017. Together with Spain, Malta and the Netherlands, it was amongst the countries that registered the greatest progression. The European Union average index has remained stable. Compared to 2010, the Basque Country index has improved 7 hundredths.

Graphic 1. European Innovation Scoreboard EIS 2018. Basque Country and EU-28


Source: Eustat and the European Commission

Note: The grey columns correspond to the values of the previous year, calculated according to EIS 2018

The EIS 2018 Innovation Union Scoreboard attempts to measure the extent to which countries' economies have the capacity to develop innovation activities. The EU-28 countries are grouped into four categories, according to the rating scored and their position in relation to the European average. In the first category, innovation leader countries, were those countries that scored a rating more than 120% of the European average: they were Sweden (0.71), Denmark (0.67), Finland (0.65), the Netherlands (0.65), the United Kingdom (0.61) and Luxembourg (0.61), although the country that was at the forefront of innovation in Europe was Switzerland (0.81).

In the second group, countries with high innovation, were those that achieved a rating of between 90% and 120% of the average. In this case, in descending order, were Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Austria, France and Slovenia, with scores between 0.60 and 0.47. The Basque Country, with a rating of 0.48, would be placed in this group, ahead of Slovenia, reaching 94.7% of the EU-28 average.

Following these, the third group, countries with moderate innovation (between 50% and 90% of the average) included the Czech Republic, Portugal, Malta, Spain, Estonia, Cyprus, Italy, Lithuania and six other countries, with ratings between 0.42 and 0.26. Lastly, in the fourth group, countries with low innovation (under 50% of the average) were Bulgaria and Romania, obtaining 0.23 and 0.16 points respectively.


The EIS 2018 European Innovation Scoreboard is structured into four main blocks, with 10 domains, for a total of 27 indicators.

In relation to the European average, the Basque Country stood out in the first block ‘Framework Conditions’, which covers three innovation domains: ‘Human resources’, ‘Attractive Research Systems’ and ‘Innovation Friendly Environment’.

In Human Resources, a domain that measures the availability of a highly qualified and trained workforce as key information for innovation, in the Basque Country two of the three indicators stood out with respect to the European average: the “New doctorate graduates aged 25-34” stood at 3.73 per thousand in the Basque Country, while in the EU-28 it was 2.01 per thousand; the percentage of the "Population aged 25-34 with tertiary education" stood at 53.8%, with the community average standing at 39.0%; and the "Percentage of the population aged 25 to 64 participating in lifelong learning", was 9.1% for the Autonomous Region and 10.9% for the EU-28.

‘Attractive Research Systems’, a domain that measures the international competitiveness of the scientific framework, also includes three indicators. The Basque Country stood out compared to the EU-28 in all three. The number of "International scientific co-publications per million inhabitants" stood at 939 in the Basque Country compared to 517 in Europe, the percentage of "Scientific Publications most cited internationally" (excellent), 10.91% for the Basque Country and 10.57% for the EU-28 and "Foreign doctorate students as a percentage of all doctorate students", 30.70% in the Basque Country and 26.07% in the EU-28.

"Innovation Friendly Environment” measures the implementation of high speed broadband networks and opportunity-driven entrepreneurship. It gathers two indicators and the Basque Country stood out in "Broadband Penetration” with 27.5% compared to 16.0% in the EU-28, whereas in “Opportunity-driven Entrepreneurship”, motivational index, it attained 1.88 and was surpassed by the European Union that had value of 3.34.


Two other domains stand out, “Firm investments” and “Innovators”, where the Basque Country and the EU-28 obtained similar figures.

In “Firm investments”, two of its three indicators achieved higher figures in the Basque Country. Thus, “Private spending on R&D as a percentage over GDP” obtained 1.37% in the Basque Country and the European average was 1.32% and “Enterprises providing training to develop or upgrade ICT skills of their personnel”, was 21.8% in the Basque Country and 21.0% in Europe. However, “Non-R&D innovation expenditure as a percentage of turnover”, with 0.58% in the Basque Country and 0.76% in the EU-28, attained higher figures in Europe.

Furthermore, in "Innovators", two of the three indicators: "SMEs with product or process innovations as a percentage of SMEs" and "SMEs innovating in-house as a percentage of SMEs", are above the European average, 34.1% compared to 30.9% in the first indicator and 32.2% compared to 28.8% in the second. In the third indicator of this dimension "SMEs with marketing or organisational innovations as a percentage of SMEs", in the Basque Country there was a lower percentage, 21.1%, than in the EU-28, 34.9%.

In the remaining dimensions, "Finance & Support", "Linkages", "Intellectual Assets", "Employment Impacts" and "Sales Impacts", the scores obtained are lower than the European average. Even so, amongst these it is also possible to cite two indicators whose results in the Basque Country are higher than those in the EU-28. They are “Innovative SMEs that collaborate with others” and “Sales of new-to-market and new-to-firm innovations as a percentage of turnover”, with 11.34% in the Basque Country and 11.22% in Europe in the former and 18.74% compared to 13.37% for the latter.

In relation to the evolution of the different domains and indicators that form part of the EIS in the Basque Country, of particular note is the progress registered in the domains of Human Resources, Attractive Research Systems, Innovation Friendly Environment, Innovators, Intellectual Assets and Impact in both employment and sales. This is not the case with the domains of Finance and Support, Firm Investments and Linkages, which registered downward trends.

European Innovation Scoreboard, EIS 2018

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Basque Statistics Institute C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: Tel: 945 01 75 62

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The Basque Country is at the same level as countries with high innovation according to the European Innovation Scoreboard EIS 2018

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