Slovakia innovates in the IT sector the most, but lacks innovation in areas such as medicine, biomedicine and robotics. This stems from the Global Innovation Index, published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
In its recent edition, Slovakia placed in 36th place, improving its position by two spots compared to last year. The country is still lagging behind neighbouring countries. For instance, Austria and the Czech Republic placed among the 30 most innovative countries.
As for other countries in the region, Hungary placed 33rd and Poland 39th.
In general, western Europe invests more in innovation than countries in central or eastern Europe.Slovakia still lags in innovation Read more
Switzerland tops the rankings
When compiling the index, the OECD follows the innovation outputs and inputs of the countries, how much money universities invest in research, and the number of patents acquired.
"Economically wealthier countries are markedly more innovative since the structure of their economies is more diversified," said analyst Lenka Buchláková from Slovenska Sporiteľňa bank, as quoted in a press release.
Switzerland came first in the 2018 ranking. The country has managed to remain in first place for seven years in a row. The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and the USA followed.
Economies in these countries are not dependent upon one industry, which is the case of Slovakia, focusing on the car industry, Buchláková added.
For example, Ireland invests more in small and medium-sized enterprises, Luxembourg supports research more, and Belgium has been interconnecting business with universities in recent years.
"The European Union as a whole is the world's average when it comes to innovation," said Buchláková, adding the EU's innovation productivity has increased by 5.8 percent since 2010.
Although the Union is still enhancing its position in the innovation field, it has not reached the world's pace.