It also strengthens our self-sufficiency as a society, helping us secure social prosperity while creating the space for action that we need to resolve the great social challenges of our time together in compliance with our European values.
Not only material capital, but also knowledge capital, i.e. factors such as research and development results, software and databases, copyrights, or further training, is growing more and more important to ensure innovative strength, productivity, and competitiveness. The relevance of knowledge capital has grown in nearly every single country since the financial crisis in the late 2000s. The scope of this intangible capital has increased by more than 20 percent, not only in the USA but also in Germany, France, and other euro countries since 2007.
We also know that continuing digitalization significantly increases regional imbalances in innovation and the majority of international digital innovation activity focuses in some few particularly innovative hotspots. For example, Tokyo, Seoul, San Francisco, Osaka, and Paris together produce 22 percent of all patents around the world.
German companies, in particular, must hurry to catch up in this area. Representative survey results in the industry and services network currently suggest that only a quarter of the 1,000 companies under review have the innovation competence, innovation organization, and innovation culture required to secure their competitive position in the long term.