Norway and Innovation

European Commission. The annual European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS 2021) provides a comparative assessment of the research and innovation performance of EU Member
States and selected third countries (among them Norway), and the relative strengths and
weaknesses of their research and innovation systems. It helps countries
assess areas in which they need to concentrate their efforts in order to
boost their innovation performance.

The seven pillars.

Overall. Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Sweden are Innovation Leaders with
innovation performance well above the EU average. Austria, Estonia,
France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands are Strong
with performance above the EU average. The performance of
Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, and
Spain is below the EU average. These countries are Moderate Innovators.
Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia are
Emerging Innovators with performance well below the EU average. Norway is rated 20, as a moderate innovator.

Norwegian sub-pillars. Norway is rated as number 13 in Human capital and research, a moderate innovator, while Sweden, Finland and Denmark are rated among the leading innovators as number 2, 4 and 6. Norway ranked number 1 in infrastructure, 28 in the use (outcome) of ICT and 25 in creativity. Norway invests a lot of money in infrastructure, but scores low on the effects of the investments, for example in ICT. In terms of creativity, Norway are far behind countries such as Malta, Luxembourg, Cyprus and Estonia, which are far behind Norway in terms of infrastructure. In terms of business sophistication, Sweden is ranked 1, USA 2 and Singapore 3. Finland is ranked 6, while Norway gets a 23rd place. It is gratifying that Norway scores high in institutions with a 3rd place only beaten by Singapore and Finland. Market sophistication – 21 and Canada, USA and Hong Kong (China) on the podium.

Human Capital Norway Index (calculations). The level and standard of education and research activity in a country are prime determinants of the innovation capacity of a nation. This pillar tries to gauge the human capital of countries. The first sub-pillar includes a mix of indicators aimed at capturing achievements at the elementary and secondary education levels. Education expenditure and school life expectancy are good proxies for coverage. Government expenditure per pupil, secondary gives a sense of the level of priority given to secondary education by the state. The quality of education is measured through the results to the OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which examines 15-year-old students’ performances in reading, mathematics, and science, as well as the pupil-teacher ratio. Higher education is crucial for economies to move up the value chain beyond simple production processes and products. The sub-pillar on tertiary education aims at capturing coverage (tertiary enrollment); priority is given to the sectors traditionally associated with innovation (with a series on the percentage of tertiary graduates in science and engineering, manufacturing, and construction); and the inbound and mobility of tertiary students, which plays a crucial role in the exchange of ideas and skills necessary for innovation. The last sub-pillar, on R&D,measures the level and quality of R&D activities, with indicators on researchers (full-time equivalence), gross expenditure, and the quality of scientific and research institutions as measured by the average score of the top three universities in the QS World University Ranking of 2014. By design, this indicator aims at capturing the availability of at least three higher education institutions of quality within each economy (i.e., included in the global top 700), and is not aimed at assessing the average level of all institutions within a particular economy.

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