Maltese businesses underperform EU average in innovation in 2016

(source: Unsplash/Mikael Kristenson)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 August, 2019 at 11:01 am by Christian Keszthelyi

The share of innovative enterprises in Malta was 34% in 2016, according to the latest figures published by the European Statistical Office (Eurostat). Malta classified at the lower end of the spectrum, as the European Union average came to 51%.

In the European Union, slightly more than half (51%) of the enterprises with ten or more employees reported about innovation activities during the period 2014-2016, just a bit more than in the preceding period of 2012-2014 (49%), the press statement by the Eurostat says.

During the period of 2014-2016, the highest proportion of enterprises with innovation activity were recorded in Belgium (68%), Portugal (67%), Finland (65%), Luxembourg (64%) and Germany (64%). The low-performers included Hungary (29%), Bulgaria (27%), Poland (22%) and Romania (10%).

The Community Innovation Survey 2016, published by the Eurostat in March 2018, contains a broad set of indicators on innovation activities of enterprises.

Businesses spend €192.8m on innovation in 2016

In 2016, technological innovation expenditure reached an estimated €192.8m, according to data published by the Maltese National Statistics Office (NSO) at the end of September 2018.

Some 66.6% (€128.4m) of this was spent on acquiring machinery and equipment, which was followed by 16.8% (€32.4m) being spent on intramural research and development.

Between 2014 and 2016, some 27.1% (511) of the total enterprises employing a staff of at least ten engaged in innovation activities, NSO figures reveal.

“Results show that 85 enterprises were engaged solely in technological innovation, 148 enterprises were engaged in non-technological innovation and the remaining 278 were involved in both technological and non-technological innovation,” the NSO says in its release published in September.

NSO also found that 9% of all technologically innovative enterprises believe that cooperation agreements with suppliers of equipment, materials, components or software are highly crucial in boosting innovation.

“Low demand for innovations in the market and no need to innovate due to previous innovations were the two main obstacles which hindered non-innovative enterprises from engaging in innovative activities,” the NSO says in its earlier report.

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