Trendchart: why Europe is unable to compete with US

The 2005 Trendchart on Innovation, which was commissioned by DG Enterprise, paints a gloomy picture of the EU’s competitiveness. 

Comparing EU and US innovation performance, the trendchart’s authors come to the conclusion that the US are ahead in ten out of eleven key areas. To face the challenge, European research policy should slaughter holy cows such as ‘networking’, ‘interactions with local environment’ and ‘attention to user need’. Instead, the authors recommend five key measures for the EU:

  • give more support to flexible institutions doing high quality basic research ;
  • differentiate between research/graduate training universities, undergraduate teaching universities and technical colleges;
  • push back the trend towards increasingly restrictive intellectual property rights and the appropriation of research results;
  • be more courageous when launching research missions;
  • use industrial policies to boost industry’s innovative powers.

The trendchart is a forerunner to the European Innovation Scoreboard, which will be published along with more accompanying documents in October.

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