Many people don’t understand (I do know), that today, innovation is about much more than new products. It is about reinventing business processes and building entirely new markets that meet untapped customer needs. Most important, as the Internet and globalization widen the pool of new ideas, it's about selecting and executing the right ideas and bringing them to market in record time.
According to different rankings, most of the top innovative companies are originally American. The European Union tries to catch up with them, for example by implementing special EU-funded strategies, such as the Lisbon Strategy. However, it is now considered to have been a failure and new tools are being developed, such as EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology http://eit.europa.eu/).
In the Internet Era innovation and technology seems to be the best way to succeed. Firms that rely on them do not have to pay particular attention to their environment in their own regions and nations as long as their competitors, collaborators, suppliers and customers are less innovative.
That's what I think.