Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


European Trend Chart on Innovation, Exploring Innovation Performances by Sectors

Funded under: FP5-INNOVATION-SME


The strong effect on a firm's sector of activity on its innovative performance has been well understood for decades. Innovation plays a vital role in the competitiveness of the pharmaceutical, instrument and aerospace sectors and a less important role in textiles, food products, and fabricated metals. These differences by sector in innovation performance create two main issues for policy. First, to what extent are aggregate innovation indicators, such as the ones used in EIS, influenced by the sectoral structure of the economy? The second question follows from the first: where are the European Union's most innovative firms in each sector and what factors encourage their innovative excellence?
The answers to these two questions are of value because they can help deflect an overemphasis on the activities of the 'high-tech' sectors, whose role in economic activity is often exaggerated. Modern economies are primarily dominated by the service sectors and secondarily by many low and medium technology manufacturing sectors. Overall productivity gains within an economy are strongly dependent on innovative capabilities of these sectors, particularly through the adoption or modification of innovations developed by other firms through a process of diffusion.

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