Irish SMEs ranked best for innovation in the EU

25th July 2016 | News

Irish-based small businesses are regarded as the most innovative in the European Union (EU) according to a European Commission survey.

The commission’s most recent annual survey suggests the EU is gaining ground on Japan and the United States in terms of innovation but more needs to be done to allow SMEs to grow in the areas of VAT regulation, insolvency rules, intellectual property frameworks and regulatory requirement accessibility.

Ireland’s small businesses were ranked as the most innovative in the EU, ahead of SMEs based 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, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, said her goal 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” was needed in order to make this happen.

This positive news for Ireland arrived just after an ISME survey showed that Irish SMEs are growing increasingly 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 combination 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, the commission adds.