Skip to content

172 Working Paper

Evaluating and Comparing the Innovative Performance of the United States and the European Union

2009 – Malgorzata Runiewicz-Wardyn


There are significant differences in the innovative capacities between the economies of the United States and European Union. The U.S. was able to gain and maintain technological leadership, whereas most of the EU member states (with the exception of some Scandinavian economies) still lag behind in the competitiveness and innovation rankings (Global Competitiveness Index 2007-2008; The World Competitiveness Scoreboard 2008; European Innovation Scoreboard 2007). Several factors lie behind the differences in the U.S. and EU innovative performance: the nature and dynamics of R&D investments; differences in industrial structure of R&D; degree of internationalization and location of R&D investments; the linkage between inventions and the science base; the value of venture capital investment; and geographical concentration of innovation activities. Thus, the evaluation of the differences in the competitiveness and innovation performance of the U.S. and the EU must consider differences in their subject and space dimensions.