Monday, January 16, 2006

Scoring Innovation

The European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) 2005, was released on the TrendChart website last Friday. The EIS is an annual assessment of innovation performance in EU member states, following a request of the European Council of Ministers in 2000. According to the 2005 report, innovation in the EU is somewhat lagging behind in the international arena: "it would take more than 50 years for the EU25 to catch up to the US level of innovation performance."

What interests me about this report is the way in which innovation is recognised for the purposes of the score, via the "five key dimensions of innovation performance." These are innovation drivers, knowledge creation, innovation and entrepreneurship, application, and intellectual property. Innovation does not score unless it is visible through these indicators. In particular, knowledge creation is measured through investment in R & D. Further, intellectual property creation is in and of itself an end for the purposes of recording innovation. Obviously an economic model such as this requires quantifiable economic parameters, but what of innovation that cannot be measured within this model? Of interest is how such a scoring system might come to terms with incremental innovation in traditional communities within Europe and whether such activity achieves importance within this overarching model of innovation performance.

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