Prague Lags Behind European Average in Innovation

While Prague is the most innovative region of the Czech Republic, the entire country falls behind other European countries in comparison, according to the European Commission’s ranking.

Prague still dominates in investment in research and development for innovation, particularly in business and technological maturity. In 2016, Prague’s business realm invested 11.4 billion crowns, 89 percent of the European average. In fact, Prague’s current 9.7 billion CZK contributes to more than two-thirds of total government spending on research and development in the Czech Republic (which is more than half of the European average). For reference in the Czech Republic, the second highest public spending on research and development belongs to the Central Bohemian region, which is 2.3 billion crowns.

Prague must bow down to other regions in the Czech Republic in some categories. Fifty-five percent of people in Central Bohemia use internet to communicate with public institutions and 52 percent in Bratislava, Slovakia, while Prague is less than half. Bratislava has a higher share of people using the Internet to communicate with public institutions and higher employment in advanced manufacturing industries, too.  

Despite the 13 incubators and innovation centers, 14 accelerations and 32 coworkers in Prague, the turnover of Prague start-ups is 14.3 million CZK on average. Prague ranks fourth in this behind South East (548 million crowns), Southwest (175.4 million crowns) and Moravian-Silesian (16.1 million crowns).

When it comes to employment in medium and high-skilled manufacturing and knowledge-intensive services, Bratislava is at 25 percent, while Prague is at 20 percent.

The future of innovation is still unknown with the role of AI and automation expanding in the next 15 years. A study by Investiční Web estimates that “There will be 21 million new jobs in Europe, but nearly all positions will require more advanced digital skills that are estimated by the European Commission to be at least half of Europeans.”

Author: Meredith Hessel

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