Irish SMEs have been ranked best in the EU for innovation in a European Commission survey.
The commission’s latest annual survey shows the EU is catching up with Japan and the US in terms of innovation but found more needs to be done for SMEs around the areas of Vat regulation, insolvency rules, intellectual property frameworks and regulatory requirement accessibility.
Irish SMEs were ranked most innovative, followed by those in Germany, Luxembourg, France and Austria.
“These countries are characterised by high shares of SMEs involved in innovation activities; they introduce more innovative products and generate more new jobs in fast-growing young companies,” the commission said.
SME commissioner El?zbieta Bie´nkowska said her aim is to make Europe a place “where innovative SMEs and start-ups flourish and scale-up within the single market,” adding that “a concerted effort” is required for this to happen.
The good news for Ireland came a day after an Isme survey showed Irish SMEs are more dissatisfied with government support.
However, the commission’s survey said the EU’s innovation performance is expected to improve over the next two years with businesses in Ireland, along with Romania and Malta, being the most likely to increase their investment in innovation next year.
A balance of public and private investment, a strong research and education base and effective partnerships between companies and academia are key to a country’s innovation status, said the commission.
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