Romania, last in the EU on business innovation

According to data released by the National Institute of Statistics on Monday, between 2020 and 2022, the proportion of Romanian companies introducing new or improved products or business processes to the market was 8.8%, marking a decline of 1.9 percentage points compared to the period between 2018 and 2020. Romania remains at the bottom of the EU rankings in terms of innovation. Leading the innovation efforts are Greece, Belgium, and Germany, emphasizing the importance of innovation for business competitiveness.

Business innovation refers to the wide range of activities that businesses undertake to develop new goods or services and bring them to market. The Community Innovation Survey (CIS) reports on two types of innovation: product innovation and business process innovation. The latest CIS results show that more than half (53%) of all EU businesses reported some form of innovation.

The highest proportion of innovative enterprises was reported in Greece (73% of all enterprises), followed by Belgium (71%), Germany and Finland (both 69%) and Cyprus (66%). Conversely, the lowest innovation activity was observed in Romania, Latvia (32%), Hungary and Spain (both 33%) and Poland (35%).

The share of innovative enterprises, in total enterprises, decreased in the 2020-2022 period compared to the 2018-2020 period by two percentage points, according to the INS.

Enterprises in services have innovated more than those in industry, while large enterprises twice as innovative as SMEs;

The share of product-only innovative enterprises is about 2.8 percentage points higher than the share of business process-only innovative enterprises.

The number of enterprises that implemented “new products for the enterprise” is 3.1 times higher than the number of those that introduced “new products on the market”.

Innovative enterprises cooperated more with each other in the period 2020-2022 compared to the period 2018-2020.

Large companies, more innovative than SMEs

As in 2018-2020, in 2020-2022, overall, large enterprises with at least 250 employees were twice as innovative as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Of the total number of large enterprises, 20.6% were innovative, while SMEs innovated in proportion to 8.3%. However, compared to the period 2018-2020, the share of large innovative enterprises decreased by 2.0 percentage points, from 22.6% to 20.6%, and innovative SMEs had the same downward trend, by 1, 8 percentage points, respectively from 10.1% to 8.3%.

More innovative product companies

Of the total enterprises, 4.1% were innovative only of new or improved products, 3.1% implemented both product and business process innovations, and 1.3% applied only for business process innovations. The share of innovative goods enterprises, in total enterprises, increased, in the period 2020-2022, by 0.1 percentage points (from 5.0% to 5.1%). Innovative service enterprises also grew by 0.5 percentage points (from 4.8% to 5.3%).

Less new products on the market

The share of “new to the market” and “new to the enterprise” products in total enterprises remained approximately constant in the 2020-2022 period compared to the 2018-2020 period. The share of innovative enterprises that introduced “new products on the market”, in total enterprises, decreased slightly overall by 0.2 percentage points, and in small and medium-sized enterprises by 0.1 percentage points, respectively by 0.4 percentage points, but increased slightly in large enterprises, by 0.5 percentage points, in the period 2020-2022 compared to the period 2018-2020.
The share of innovative enterprises that introduced “new products for the enterprise”, in total enterprises increased slightly overall by 0.2 percentage points, growth supported by small and large enterprises by 0.3 percentage points, respectively by 0.6 percentage points, but it decreased slightly for medium-sized enterprises, by 0.1 percentage points, in the period 2020-2022 compared to the period 2018-2020.
business competitivenessbusiness innovationCommunity Innovation Survey (CIS)last EUnational institute of statisticsromanian companiesSMEs
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  • Panagiotis Spyridis

    The key that unlocks this level is EDUCATION. First Invest in that and the rest will come naturally.