The Netherlands drops out of top five innovative EU countries
The Netherlands dropped one place to sixth in the latest European innovation index, published annually by the European Commission.
Top of the index is Sweden, followed by Denmark, Germany, Finland and Luxemburg.
Innovation is an important indicator of future economic growth and how quickly a country will come out of the financial crisis, the Commission said in a statement
The Netherlands scored well on innovation until 2013 when investment by companies and government in research and development dropped sharply.
The government's scientific research council WRR recently criticised government policy on innovation, saying there was little attention being paid to the question of where money would be made in the future.
Economic affairs minister Henk Kamp reacted by reiterating that the government is doing enough and that it is too early to make a judgement on innovation policy.
The most innovative regions in the Netherlands are the province of Noord-Brabant and the Randstad region comprising Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.
In these areas, companies, universities and government are working together to develop new products that will withstand international competition.
Outside the EU, the most innovative countries are the US, Japan, South Korea and Switzerland.