At a first glance, new EU Member States such as Latvia, the Czech Republic and Romania seem to outperform many established European economies - including France, Germany and the UK - in terms of innovation performance in their services industry. These are the surprising results of a recently published TrendChart report, which also shows that traditional indicators for measuring innovation do not apply very well to the services sector.
The 2006 TrendChart report: "Can we measure and compare innovation inservices?" was written by Minna Kanerva, Hugo Hollanders and Anthony Arundel, researchers at UNU-MERIT in The Netherlands, a joint research centre of United Nations University and Maastricht University. The report was funded under the European Commission's "European Trend Chart on Innovation" (Enterprise Directorate-General).
Most of the currently available innovation indicators, such as R&D, patents, total innovation expenditures and innovation sales shares were primarily designed to cover technical innovation in the manufacturing sector. A major question is therefore: Can innovation in the services sector be adequately measured through indicators that were largely developed to measure technical innovation in manufacturing? The TrendChart report suggests an answer of 'partly'. A second major question is: Can we compare service sector innovation performance across countries? The answer to this question is 'no', or at best, 'with great difficulty'.
The TrendChart report develops the Service Sector Innovation Index (SSII), a composite indicator build using a set of 24 indicators, of which 22 are taken from the 3rd Community Innovation Survey, divided over seven themes: human resources, innovation demand, technological knowledge, non-technological changes, sources of knowledge, commercialisation, and intellectual property.
However not all new EU25 member states are doing so well. Sweden and Luxembourg perform best on the Service Sector Innovation Index (SSII), while Bulgaria and Hungary come last. Some of Europe's better performers on the European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) perform poorly on the SSII, including Denmark, Austria and the Netherlands. Some new member states of the European Union perform very well.
Especially Latvia, the Czech Republic and Romania outperform many more developed countries like France, Germany and the UK. The report suggests that differences in the nature of innovation in the manufacturing and services sector can explain why some of less performing countries on the EIS ('lagging countries') perform best on service sector innovation performance.
Innovation in services relies much less on the accumulation of capabilities, permitting service firms to move much more rapidly to best practice than manufacturing firms. Innovation indicators measure flows in the services sectors, but a combination of flows and stocks in the manufacturing sector. Service sector innovation flows could be very large in lagging countries with poorly developed services sectors, as firms rapidly catch up to best practice. Service sector innovation flows could be small in countries with highly developed service sectors already close to the frontier of best practice.
A new expert group set up by the Commission to help European countries boost innovation in the services sector started work on 26 September 2006. The group will assess whether existing innovation policies are 'service friendly' and propose policy recommendations for new actions to foster innovation in services. The expert group is also expected to come up with concrete suggestions for the further development of the proposed pan European platform to better link universities, entrepreneurship and finance, in order to foster innovative start-ups in the services sector.
The platform was announced in the Commission's recent Communication on Innovation: Putting knowledge into practice: a broad-based innovation strategy for the EU.
The following experts are participating in the group: Professor Jeremy Howels, PREST, University of Manchester. Prof Knut Blind - Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Mr Uffe Bundgaard-Jorgensen - CEO InvestorNet, Mr Pim den Hertog - Dialogic, Mr Hugo Hollanders - MERIT, University of Maastricht, Professor Örjan Sölvell - Stockholm School of Economics, Mrs Tiina Tanninem-Ahonen - Tekes, Mrs Corinna Schulze - IBM Europe.
Wangu Mwangi | alfa
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy