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The European Commission has been publishing the yearly Innovation Scoreboard since 2014 in order to provide a comparative assessment of the research and innovation performance of EU European Innovation Scoreboard 2021member states and selected third countries. The aim is to help countries assess in which areas they need to concentrate their efforts in order to enhance their innovation performance.

Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Belgium come out on top in the 2021 European Innovation Scoreboard and are categorised as “innovation leaders” with innovation performance well above the EU average.

Luxembourg is in the second category, “strong innovators”, together with the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Estonia, France and Ireland.

Strong Luxembourg performance

Luxembourg’s strongest performance is in the category “attractive research systems”, where it scores 184.5, compared to the EU average of 100. The high score is in particular due to the exceptionally high number of foreign doctoral students (indexed 297.3). However, the country also performs well in the two other subcategories, international scientific co-publications (173.0) and most cited publications (128.9).

With an index of 170.6, Luxembourg also performs well in the category “human resources”. The country stands out for the high proportion of its population that has a tertiary education (207.1) and for lifelong learning (183.8).

A third strong area is “intellectual assets” where Luxembourg has an index of 145.8 due to the high number of trademark and design applications. Luxembourg also has good marks in the new category “environmental sustainability”, thanks to an index of 184.6 in the field of resource productivity.

The country does less well in the categories “finance and support”, “firm investments”, “innovators” and “sales impacts”, where it performs below the EU average.

Performance over time

Over the past few years, Luxembourg has been moving between the two top categories of countries. It was ranked as one of the innovation leaders in 2018, moved to the second group of strong innovators in 2019, and was again positioned among the innovation leaders in 2020. In 2021, it is once more classified among the strong innovators. This year’s overall index of 137 is the second highest ever obtained (after 138 in 2020). Although the performance relative to the EU has decreased slightly over time, Luxembourg still confirms its strength in innovation.

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