Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

The Next Society launches the first innovation dashboard for Southern Mediterranean countries

Written by Gérard Tur on Friday, May 15th 2020 à 12:42 | Read 124 times

Developed by the European programme The Next Society with the Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Sciences Institutes (Femise) and the Anima Investment Network, the first digital and interactive dashboard of innovation in the Southern Mediterranean provides data on seven countries based on seventy-eight indicators, several of which are new.

The dashboard allows comparisons to be made between the seven countries selected (graphic: The Next Society)
The dashboard allows comparisons to be made between the seven countries selected (graphic: The Next Society)
MEDITERRANEAN.  As part of The Next Society, the Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Sciences Institutes (Femise) and the mediterranean economic development cooperation network Anima Investment Network, the lead partner of this European programme launched in 2017, are publishing the first innovation scorecard adapted to the specificities of the southern Mediterranean countries.

Digital and interactive, it is based on seventy-eight indicators and allows to measure innovation in the region.  "It plays a crucial role in economic and social development. It is an important driver of growth, productivity, competitiveness and job creation. Innovation can also contribute to addressing some of the socio-economic challenges such as health and poverty," says a joint statement from the two Marseille-based associations.

Yes, but we still need to agree on this concept, which is so volatile and has variable definitions depending on the category of actors in the national innovation system, i.e. institutions, the industrial fabric, researchers, etc.
"Everyone talks about innovation, but it is not easy to define it in the region and therefore to measure it. Until now, there has been no common tool to do this," emphasises Mathias Fillon, interviewed by Coordinator of The Next Society, he highlights the two main advantages of this dashboard. "It is unique, it is the first to be created in the Mediterranean. The seventy-eight indicators have been selected to take into account regional particularities and therefore offer detailed information on the level of performance achieved by Mediterranean countries in terms of innovation in the regional context," he comments.

78 indicators for 7 countries

Interactive charts aggregate several related indicators (graphic: The Next Society)
Interactive charts aggregate several related indicators (graphic: The Next Society)
In existing dashboards, "innovation metrics have been designed primarily for developed market economies and emerging economies and are therefore unable to provide a true picture of the progress and challenges faced by developing countries," says a statement from The Next Society. Moreover, they do not reflect the progress, or lack of progress, of innovation in the Southern Mediterranean countries. The report allows comparisons to be made between the seven countries and even within countries thanks to the annual data.

Researchers from Femise, a partner in this consortium and experts in Mediterranean development issues, have therefore selected the most relevant indicators for the three main phases of the innovation process (entry, process, production). Some of these indicators had never been used before and were specifically produced and monitored by Femise to create this dashboard. These include the Brain Drain, the number of days saved to start a business compared to a base year, the growth rate of internet users and mobile users per 100 inhabitants.

The next step was the collection of data to measure the stage reached in the seven selected countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine. "Anima then used this material provided by Femise to develop an online tool accessible to the greatest number of people with very visual graphics. We simplify the data so that it is more usable," explains Mathias Fillon.

These indicators, which will be updated regularly, are proving to be very instructive.
The new dashboard shows that Egypt appears to be the country where a company is created the fastest (in eight days) and Morocco the easiest to create one. Egypt also has the highest mobile penetration of the last fifteen years, while the most spectacular growth in the number of Internet users is in Lebanon and Algeria. The proportion of researchers to population remains highest in Tunisia, which also has the highest share of high-tech exports in total manufacturing exports. While Lebanon has the most research-industry collaborations, Morocco has the most companies with internationally recognised quality certification.

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