Ireland performs above average when it comes to innovation, according to the EU's Innovation Union Scoreboard 2014.

Ireland is ranked in the index as an "Innovation Follower" at 110% of the EU average.

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France and the UK join Ireland in what's referred to as the "Innovation Follower" group.

The EU "Innovation Leaders" are Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Finland, while Bulgaria, Latvia, Romania and Poland are ranked as the least innovative in the "Modest Innovators" group.

According to the report, Ireland performs well above the EU average on international scientific co-publications and license and patent revenues from abroad.

Other strong performing indicators are population with tertiary education, employment in knowledge intensive-services and knowledge-intensive services exports.

Relative weaknesses are in community designs and non-R&D innovation expenditures.

"The Scoreboard confirms once again that investment in research and innovation pays dividends in terms of economic performance," Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner responsible for Research, Innovation and Science said.

"With a budget of nearly €80 billion over the next seven years, our new research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 will help us maintain this momentum. We need to increase innovation investment across the EU now, to reach our target of 3% of GDP by 2020."