Featured Article 16 Sep 2013 Silicon RepublicIreland has managed to glean third spot in the European Commission’s proposed new indicator of Innovation Output for each of the 28 EU member states. Ireland has been described as a ‘top performer’ in the rankings, especially when it comes to the translation of innovative ideas into commercial reality.The European Commission's proposed new indicator has given Ireland a score of 124.8 - this is well above the EU average, which was set to 100 in 2010.Ireland, it would appear, is getting the most out of innovation when it comes to ideas from innovative sectors being able to reach the marketplace.In turn, the Commission said this spurs on more job creation and makes the country more competitive.Making the European Union more competitive on a global levelSpeaking about the proposed new indicator for innovation output overall, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Commissioner responsible for Research, Innovation and Science, said today that the European Union has to translate more great ideas into successful products and services in order to lead in the global economy.As well as this, Geoghegan-Quinn said the European Union also has the challenge of trying to close what she termed a "worrying innovation divide".“The proposed indicator will help us measure how we are doing and pinpoint areas where countries need to take action," she said.Overall, there were four 'top performers' identified, according to the country scores in the EU's innovation rankings.1. Sweden2. Germany3. Ireland4. LuxembourgEach of these four countries had 'innovation' scores of more than 120.They also ranked as having "high values" in all four components scrutinised by the Commission in the rankings.These four indicators were: technological innovation; employment in knowledge-intensive activities; competitiveness of knowledge-intensive goods and services; and employment in fast-growing firms of innovative sectors.Innovation strengthsApparently, the top performers in the EU share a number of strengths.These assets encompass highly skilled labour forces and a business environment that encourages fast-growing innovative firms. These strengths help trigger a high level of patenting, competitive exports and high employment growth, the Commission said.Seán Sherlock, TD, the Minister for Research and Innovation in the Irish Government, has welcomed the new EU innovation indicator, which classifies Ireland in third spot.He said Ireland's performance under the new Indicator of Innovation Output is "highly significant", as it measures the extent to which ideas from innovative sectors are able to reach the market, providing better jobs and making Europe more competitive."This is a very positive indication of improvement in Ireland's competitiveness in key areas of the economy."This is testament from an authoritative source that we are on the right track to recovery and our innovation performance is playing a major role," Sherlock said this afternoon.The new indicator of innovation output was developed at the request of the European Council to benchmark national innovation policies and monitor the EU's performance against its main trading partners. The indicator was developed using statistical analyses, and international quality standards by Eurostat, the OECD and the International Monetary Fund were taken as a reference when compiling the indicator.