The Irish economy continues to innovate in key areas, but at a slower pace than the EU average.

That’s according to a report by the European Commission.

The European Innovation Scoreboard looks at key comparable business data.

Ireland continues to churn out high quality graduates, broadband internet is expanding and small businesses are increasingly collaborating together and with the public sector.

But there are also some warning signals.

Research and development spending in the public sector has fallen and there is less business expenditure on innovation, according to the report.

Trademark applications have been falling for the passed five years, and continue to drop.

Ireland, along with the likes of Germany and Luxembourg “, Cyprus, and France “are strong innovators, performing above the EU average”

However “performance is increasing at a rate lower than that of the EU (8.5%-points). The country’s performance lead over the EU is becoming smaller.”