Cyprus and Greece have recorded strong performance improvement in Innovation the past year.

They are among the top five- best performance in the EU in improving innovation, according to the European Innovation Scoreboard 2021.

Still, the two countries have a long way to go, as they are both described as “moderate innovators”, compared to other EU countries.


In Greece, performance relative to the EU has increased strongly, in particular in the last three years.

The strong increase in innovation performance since 2018 is due to improved performance for Broadband penetration, Venture capital, Product innovators, Job-to-job mobility of HRST, and Medium and hightech goods exports.

Greece has above average shares of In-house product innovators and is showing close to average scores on the Climate change related indicators.

Its weakest points are Use of information technologies (i.e. Enterprises providing ICT training and Employed ICT specialists), Intellectual assets (i.e PCT patent applications, Trademark applications and Design applications) and Finance and support (ie R&D expenditures in the public sector, Venture capital expenditures and Government support for business R&D).

In Cyprus, performance over time has increased strongly.

The strong performance improvement between 2019 and 2021 is due to very strong increases in several indicators, including Venture capital, Broadband penetration, Product innovators, and Innovative SMEs collaborating with others.

Cyprus is showing below average scores on the Climate change related indicators.

The weakest point in Cyprus is – by far- Environmental sustainability (ie Resource productivity, Air emissions by fine particulate matter and Environment-related technologies) followed by Firm investments (ie R&D expenditure in the business sector, Non-R&D Innovation expenditures and Innovation expenditures per employee) and Intellectual assets.

Closing the gap

Overall, the European Innovation Scoreboard 2021 shows that there is continued convergence within the EU, with lower performing countries growing faster than higher performing ones, therefore closing the innovation gap among them.

Performance has increased the most in Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Italy and Lithuania.

Sweden continues to be the  EU Innovation Leader, followed by Finland, Denmark and Belgium, all with innovation performance well above the EU average.


In the global landscape, the EU is performing better than its competitors like China, Brazil, South Africa, Russia, and India.

On the other hand, South Korea, Canada, Australia, the United States, and Japan have a performance lead over the EU.