The report presents an in depth analysis of the EU's science, research and innovation performance in relation to three main challenges: converting research results and new technologies into innovations on the market; improving the EU's share of the very best scientific output in the world; and helping Europe to improve its standing in international research cooperation and science diplomacy, hereby also supporting the Open Innovation, Open Science and Open to the World priorities.
One of the report's major findings is that the EU continues to face a productivity gap with the United States. Labour productivity is 15% lower in the EU and the gap has widened since the economic and financial crisis, in particular for the advanced European economies. This is due to a relative underinvestment in research, although the EU's R&D intensity has progressed to over 2% GDP since the start of the crisis, and an inability to re-orient the economy towards knowledge-intensive activities, with the EU continuing to specialise in medium-high tech sectors such as automobiles. The report aims to provide sound analytical foundations for evidence-based policymaking and to help policy-makers, but also researchers, businesses, and other stakeholders, identify policy priorities both at the EU and Member State level.