Only 34 per cent of businesses in Malta were classified as innovative enterprises in 2016, according to Eurostat, marking an 8 per cent drop since the survey was last carried out in 2014.
The full results of the Community Innovation Survey 2016, which contains a broad set of indicators on innovation activities of enterprises, showed that in the European Union (EU) around half (51 per cent) of the enterprises of 10 employees or more reported innovation activity during the period 2014-2016, slightly more than in the period 2012-2014 (49 per cent).
Eurostat defines innovation activities as scientific, technological, organisational, financial and commercial steps, including research and development (R&D), which lead to the implementation of innovations within the business.
The share of innovative enterprises increased or stayed the same in 20 EU Member States and decreased in eight, including Malta.
Particularly strong increases were reported for Estonia, Portugal, Finland and Croatia. The highest proportions of innovative enterprises were to be found in Belgium (68 per cent), Portugal (67 per cent), Finland (65 per cent), Luxembourg and Germany (both 64 per cent).
In the same period, the share was below 30 per cent in Romania (10 per cent), Poland (22 per cent), Bulgaria (27 per cent) and Hungary (29 per cent).