Italian enterprises are innovating more than their European counterparts. In the EU28, just under half (48.9%) of enterprises of 10 employees or more reported innovation activity during the period 2010-2012 and the proportion of innovative enterprises in the EU28 dropped in 2010-2012 compared with both 2006-2008 (51.5% innovative enterprises) and the peak recorded in 2008-2010 (52.8%), according to the latest figures released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. This pattern was observed in the majority of Member States, but not in Italy, whose enterprises performed well and above average: Italian enterprises are the fourth most innovative in the EU28, behind Germany, Luxembourg and Ireland (but Germany’s innovation activity has sharply dropped).
Innovation activities refer to product and process innovation as well as organisational and marketing innovation, says Eurostat’s Community Innovation Survey 2012. Between 2010 and 2012, innovation in EU enterprises related mainly to organisation (27.5% of all enterprises), followed by marketing innovations (24.3%), product innovations (23.7%) and process innovations (21.4%).
During the period 2010-2012, the highest scores of enterprises with innovation activity were found in Germany(66.9% of enterprises compared to 79.9% in 2006-2008), Luxembourg(66.1% compared to 64.7% in 2006-2008) and Ireland(58.7% compared to 56.5% in 2006-2008); Italy comes in fourthplace with 56.1% of enterprises with innovation activity. Italy’s score has improved compared to the period 2006-2008, when Italian enterprises with innovation activity were 53.2% of the total, and is more or less stable compared to 2010-2012 (56.3%). During the period 2010-2012, 45.3% of Italian enterprises carried out organisation and/or marketing innovations while 41.5% is the proportion of product and/or process innovative enterprises.
The share of innovative enterprises increased the most in 2010-2012 compared with 2006-2008 in Malta (from 37.4% in 2006-2008 to 51.4% in 2010-2012, or +14.0 percentage points), followed by the Netherlands (+6.5 pp), Latvia (+6.1 pp) and the United Kingdom(+4.7 pp); Italy gained 3 percentage points, an excellent starting point that must serve as an incentive to our enterprises to keep on the right track.