Within the European Union, Spanish firms are among the least involved in innovation cooperation with institutions or companies based elsewhere in the region, the EU's statistics agency said Friday.

That finding came from Eurostat's Seventh Community Innovation Survey, which was released Friday and was based on information gathered in the 2008-10 period.

Innovative Spanish companies were the second least likely to have innovation cooperation with a partner in another European country during that period, 5.3 percent, ahead only of firms based in Italy.

Innovation cooperation with a European partner was highest in Cyprus, 38 percent of all product and process innovative enterprises; Slovenia, 35 percent; Austria, Estonia and Slovakia, all at 30 percent; Finland, 28 percent; and Luxembourg, 27 percent.

In the EU as a whole, 11 percent of innovative enterprises had innovation co-operation with a partner in another EU member state.

Among the companies that carried out innovative activities between 2008 and 2010, 27 percent cooperated with other companies, institutions or public research institutes, while 73 percent innovated using only internal resources.

Throughout the EU, 53 percent of enterprises from industry and services reported innovation activity between 2008 and 2010.

The countries with the highest proportion of innovative enterprises in that period were Germany, 79 percent; Luxembourg, 68 percent; Belgium, 61 percent; and Portugal, Sweden and Ireland, 60 percent.

In Spain, 41 percent of enterprises reported innovation activity.

EFE