Your country needs innovative minds!November 3, 2009 3
the drivers of economicsuccess
We are surrounded by innovation: from toothbrushes and music-playing, navigation-equipped mobile phones right through toinsurance policies, innovation is to be found in many places andforms the basis for nearly all products and services. Withoutinnovation there would be no progress and no new or improvedproducts. Innovations are key economic factors, generating growth,employment and prosperity. Innovations also make a majorcontribution towards ensuring competitiveness. It is precisely duringthose times of protracted crises, deep recessions and greatuncertainty among economic agents that creativity and innovativeflair are needed.
2009 is the European Year of Creativity and Innovation
In its Lisbon Strategy approved in the year 2000 the EuropeanUnion set itself the ambitious objective of becoming the mostcompetitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. Inthe intervening years many reforms have also been set in train toachieve this objective. Nevertheless, despite a number of successesthere is no prospect of attaining the targets that were actually set for2010. All the same, the EU is sticking to its strategy and hasunderlined this symbolically, too: the year 2009 has been designatedthe European Year of Creativity and Innovation.
The objectivesdeclared in association with this year include, for example, thecreation of an innovation-friendly environment, the emphasis onopenness towards cultural diversity, the development of a sense ofthe importance of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit aswell as the support for openness to change, creativity and problem-solving capability.The importance of innovations for the economy is manifested in thecreation of new economic opportunities, for example, in the form ofnot only products and services, but also new business models andproduction processes. On account of its highly open economy
Germany‟s innovative vigour is subject to huge pressure. This will be
intensified further by demographic change: Germany will see itspopulation not only shrink but also age heavily, which could have anadverse effect on productivity.
Germany is one of the leaders in innovation capability
To date, Germany has given a good account of itself. Despitecriticism of the reluctance to invest venture capital and the loomingskill shortage
the German economy managed to rank among theleaders in comparative international studies on innovationperformance in 2008.
But what actually is innovation and how canthe innovation capability and the innovation potential of an entirecountry be measured? In answer to the foregoing question, theinnovation process is highly complex and similar to a black box.
Innovation process is a black box
A wide range of definitions of innovation can be found in the relevant
literature. The word “innovation” is derived from the Latin terms
This was approved by the European Parliament and the Council after beingproposed by the Commission on December 16, 2008.
Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI). Gutachten 2009.
INSEAD (2009). Global Innovation Index and Report 2008-2009 as well asEuropean Commission (2008). European Innovation Scoreboard 2008.
ISO country codes
ATAustriaBEBelgiumBGBulgariaCHSwitzerlandCZCzech RepublicDEGermanyDKDenmarkESSpainFIFinlandFRFranceGRGreeceHUHungaryIEIrelandISIcelandITItalyJPJapanKRKoreaLTLithuaniaLULuxemburgLVLatviaMTMaltaNLNetherlandsNONorwayPLPolandPTPortugalSESwedenSISloveniaSKSlovakiaUKUnited KingdomUSUSA
Source: Int'l Organization for Standardization