An annual European Commission report on innovation ranks South Korea as the most innovative country in the world, followed by Canada, Australia and Japan. The country has stayed at the top position for six consecutive years. Based on an annual statistical analysis of 46 countries, the report titled "2018 European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS)" shows that South Korea receives the highest score, which is almost 24 percent above the performance score of the EU.
The country outperforms EU countries in many areas including R&D expenditure in the business sector, trademark applications and design applications. It remains relatively weak in the areas of knowledge-intensive services exports and innovative small-and-medium enterprises collaborating with others.
The EIS report annually provides a comparative assessment of research and innovation performance, showing the relative strengths and weaknesses of national research and innovation systems. It evaluates 28 EU members and eight countries near the EU, such as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, as well as ten other jurisdictions including South Korea, the United States, China, Brazil and South Africa.
The evaluation is based on 27 indicators and ten innovation dimensions in four main categories - framework conditions, investments, innovation activities and impacts. The European Commission suggests that countries need to perform well across all dimensions to achieve a high level of innovation.
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