Latvia is reported to have the third highest growth rate in the European Union, growing by 17.7 percentage points in the rating, according to outlooks of Europe’s Innovation Result and Regional Innovation Result.
Latvia is added to the «average innovators» group of countries whose contribution to innovations is 50 to 90% of the average level across the EU. Latvia is put on 24th place among 28 countries, maintaining its position from 2017 and 2018, as reported by Economy Ministry.
Experts of the European Commission welcome Latvia’s contribution in three dimensions – finances and support, innovations’ influence on employment and ensuring innovation-friendly business environment.
Latvia’s contribution is especially high when it comes to attraction of capital investments, which reach 148.2% of EU’s average index.
The index for the number of residents with higher education and the index for employment in innovative industries remain high as well. The outlook also mentions that Latvia should continue working on increasing private sector’s investments and PhD graduates, which remain relatively low.
«Latvia’s rapid growth rate in Europe’s innovation rating reflects Latvia’s performed initiatives for development of the innovation environment, especially in regards to support of companies to produce more innovative products and services, as well as procurement of new manufacturing infrastructure,» says Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro. «Latvia should continue its work in developing its innovative environment in the future. At the same time, the country should go through with ambitious innovative pilot projects. This is why Economy Ministry has begun work on pilot projects in the field of smart cities, bio-medicine and smart materials. Innovative development is one of the priorities of the state economy, which will serve as the base for increased productivity and added value products in a medium and long-term perspective.»
EU’s contribution in the field of innovations has been improving in four consecutive years, and for the first time in history Europe’s innovation indexes are better than those of USA. Still, the EU is behind South Korea, Canada, Australia and Japan’s high indexes.
European Commission’s European Innovation Rating covers 10 dimensions, taking into account 27 indicators in areas like human resources, attractive research system, innovation-friendly environment, finances and support, business investment, business innovation, collaboration between science and business, intellectual assets, the impact of innovation on employment, and the impact of innovation on sales.