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Slovenia Business Week no. 03: Slovenia 14th Most Innovative Country in the EU

Moreover, Slovenia came second among the ten new member states, being outperformed only by Estonia

Sloveniahas placed the 14th most innovative country among all 25 EU member states, according to the European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS), which was published in Brussels on Thursday, 12 January.

Moreover, Slovenia came second among the ten new member states, being outperformed only by Estonia, according to the EIS report.

Slovenia's innovation performance is relatively well-balanced, with no major discrepancies in different innovation categories, with the exception of intellectual property rights.

With improvements in several crucial areas and a good foundation in innovators, the country has the ability to rapidly improve its performance, the report adds.

The EIS indicators which determine a country's rank are distributed among five categories that measure innovation performance.

The report pinpoints Slovenia's best performance in the first category, namely the innovation drivers, which measure the structural conditions required for innovation potential.

The country's excellent result is due to extensive life-long learning programmes and above-average results for youth education.

Slovenia also did exceptionally well in the second category (knowledge creation), as its business R&D stood at 0.90% of GDP in 2003 (71% of the EU average).

However, the country also faces several challenges, with the main issue pinpointed as the below-average levels of ICT investment (83% of the EU average with no sign of improvement).

Moreover, the country spends a below-average amount of money on innovation, reaching 61% of the EU average, in addition to being faced with a drop in numbers of science and engineering graduates, which fell to 71% of the EU average in 2003.

Due to these troubles the country has been placed in the "catching up" group of countries, the third best out of four categories.

According to EIS, Europe's most innovative countries are Switzerland, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, while the worst are Spain, Poland and Slovakia.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA