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2019 World’s Most Innovative Countries Ranked by Global Innovation Index

Together with INSEAD (Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires) and Cornell University, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published the 12th edition of the 2019 Global Innovation Index (GII). The GII ranks 129 economies using 80 indicators that include research and development investments, international patent and trade mark applications, mobile phone app creations, and high-tech exports.

This year the launch was hosted by India, the country which has risen most in the rankings, jumping to five places and being known as the fifty second most innovative country. The central theme for this year is “Creating Healthy Lives – The Future of Medical Innovation” where the GII focuses on how medical innovations, such as the use of artificial intelligence, genomics, and mobile-phone based applications will change how healthcare will be conveyed.

Bruno Lanvin, INSEAD Executive Director for Global Indices observes that in seeking medical advice people nowadays resort more to the Internet and other innovations in the field of health and less to medical practitioners. He says that policy makers, governments and civil society should determine boundaries in which possessors of big data and advanced algorithms are able to make or influence health decisions.

Topping the list for nine consecutive years now is Switzerland followed by Sweden. On next is the United States of America, then the Netherlands and United Kingdom. The GII also acknowledges provincial pioneers like India, South Africa, Chile, Israel, and Singapore, while China, Vietnam and Rwanda lead their income groups respectively.

The findings of the GII show an increase in innovation, especially observed in Asia, despite a global economic slowdown. However, this increase is threatened by trade disruptions and protectionism. It is also noted that countries who prioritize and promote innovation through deliberate policy action show an increase in their rankings.

Still, according to the findings of the Index, there is concern as to the stagnating expenditures of high-income countries on public research and development because this is a fundamental factor to “blue-sky’ research which is necessary for future innovations.

It also indicates the emergence of new economies in fields where innovation is changing. Some countries can do more with less. Top innovations in science and technology are clustered mostly from the U.S., China, and Germany. Another top five cluster is Tokyo-Yokohama (Japan); Shenzhen-Hong Kong, China (China); Seoul (Republic of Korea); Beijing (China); San Jose-San Francisco (U.S.).

To this, Soumitra Dutta, Former Dean and Professor of Management at Cornell University, a GII co-publisher comments:

“While the Global Innovation Index ranks economies according to their innovation capacity and performance, it also provides valuable insights into the dynamics of global innovation: It highlights economies that excel in innovation and those that are more successful in translating investments in innovation inputs into innovation outputs. Lessons from these innovation leaders provide useful guidance on innovation policy for others.”

The annual Index has been used by business executives, policy makers, and others as a standard to understand the state of innovation around the world. GII recognizes that innovation plays a key role in the direction to which economic growth and prosperity goes. Therefore, the Index is principally involved in implementing better ways to measure and understand innovation in recognizing targeted policies and good practices that promote innovation.

Take away points:

  • The 12th edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII) has been published by WIPO in cooperation with INSEAD and Cornell University and other knowledge partners – The Confederation of Indian Industry, Dassault Systèmes – The 3DEXPERIENCE Company, and the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) and Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae).
  • Top five countries considered as top innovative countries are Switzerland, Sweden, US, Netherlands, and UK.
  • The GII has been the standard used by business executives, policy makers and other who want to look at the state of global innovation.

Svethlana Milanes, ABComm

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Disclaimer. The material in this post represents general information only and should not be taken to be legal advice.

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