ECONOMY

Country slips a notch down EU?s innovation chart

Greece has fallen to 20th position on the European Union?s innovation chart for 2011, published on Tuesday, which ranks the bloc?s 27 member states.

The Innovation Union Scoreboard that the European Commission presents on an annual basis showed that Greece lost the 19th place it had held in 2010 to Hungary.

?Greece is one of the moderate innovators with a below average performance,? the Commission statement read, placing Greece in the third class of EU countries in terms of innovation.

It added that the relatively strong elements in Greek innovation include human resources and entrepreneurship. By contrast, Greece is now trailing its counterparts in ?finance and support, firm investments and intellectual assets,? the Commission?s report said.

Compared with 2010, Greece showed an improvement last year in the use of venture capital for the promotion of innovation and technology, in new industrial business plans and in the sale of new products. On the other hand there was a considerable decline in innovation expenditure (not including that classified as research and technology) and in the protecting of patents abroad.