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Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2019: Nordic capital regions top the ranking, while innovation divide remains a concern  

Markku Markkula

Helsinki-Uusimaa in Finland, Stockholm Region in Sweden and Copenhagen Region (Hovedstaden) in Denmark are the three most innovative regions in the EU, according to the European Commission's Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2019 published on Monday. The scoreboard shows that when it comes to innovation in EU regions, the good are catching up with the best but the gap to the most modest performers has grown.

Markku Markkula, First Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions and the Chair of the Regional Board of Helsinki-Uusimaa, stated: "The European Commission's 2019 European Innovation Scoreboard and Regional Innovation Scoreboard show that the EU's innovation performance has been improving for four years in a row. This has also been the case for most EU regions, of which 159 out of 238 have increased their performance over the last eight years. I'm delighted to see my region, Helsinki-Uusimaa, emerge on the top of the ranking ahead of our Scandinavian neighbours from Stockholm and Copenhagen regions."

"However, while the European Commission report highlights decreasing performance gaps between leading, strong and moderate innovators, at the same time some EU regions are lagging even further behind. Those regions that often suffer from brain drain and ageing population need support to develop adequate research infrastructures and to renew their research and scientific human potential locally. We need stronger partnerships between the leading innovation regions and others, including inside each Member State and between regions throughout Europe. Moreover, through clearer and more accessible rules for the Horizon Europe programme the EU can facilitate fair and transparent participation and distribute excellence more equally across Europe as a whole", Markkula stressed.

 "Europe needs to more investment and forerunners to become a global leader. As an example, the implementation of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals can only be speeded up through effective partnerships using EU financing instruments along with private investors", Markkula concluded.

Members of the European Committee of the Regions will debate on the localisation of the Sustainable Development Goals with Jyrki Katainen, European Commission's Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness,  at next week's plenary session on 26 June.

Contact:

Lauri Ouvinen
Tel. +32 22822063
lauri.ouvinen@cor.europa.eu