The Nordic countries dominate the 2016 European Innovation Scoreboard published by the European Commission. According to the report, Finland is the 3rd most innovative country in the EU, with Sweden and Denmark taking the respective top positions. Finland, however, leads the scoreboard in the innovation area of financial framework conditions.
Other countries making the top 5 are Germany and the Netherlands while Latvia, Lithuania and the UK relatively improved their standing the most.
According to the report, in order to be an innovation leader, a country must have the following innovation factors in place:
1) good private and public investment system
2) innovation must transform into successful product sales, exports and employment figures
3) functioning partnerships not just between companies but also with academia
4) first-class research and education system
Looking at the EU as a whole, while USA and Japan are still leading the innovation race, the EU is bridging the gap.