The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in collaboration with INSEAD and its Knowledge Partners recently released the 2012 Global Innovation Index (GII), a report ranking 141 countries on the basis of their innovation capabilities and results. Emphasizing the importance of going beyond traditional measures of innovation, such as R&D expenditure and patent count, the GII includes metrics based on internet usage, diffusion of knowledge, and creative outputs to determine a country’s innovation score.
For the second year in a row, Switzerland and Sweden lead the world in overall innovation performance. Singapore followed closely, ranking 3rd overall and 1st for Southeast Asia—not entirely surprising given the nation’s systematic attempts to establish itself as Asia’s financial center. The US rounded out the top 10 with the study citing deficiencies in areas such as education, human resources, and access to capital for small and medium enterprises. (Check out last week’s post on small business credit.)
The report also noted that BRIC countries need to invest further in innovative infrastructures in order to live up to their "expected potential.” Two Middle Eastern countries made the top 40 with Qatar ranking 33rd and the UAE ranking 37th despite recent speculation that many of the innovative initiatives made in the Middle East are failing to translate into the wider economy. Regardless of whether a country is developed or developing, it’s evident that innovation is an important driver of economic progress and competitiveness. A full list of the rankings can be foud here.
Our ability to measure innovation allows for a better understanding of global economic trends and the formulation of future predictions. The message of this year’s GII Report, Stronger Innovation Linkages for Global Growth, not only highlights the importance of productive interactions between all the stakeholders—firms, government, academia, and society—in modern innovation ecosystems, but also echoes Ocean Tomo’s own dedication to promoting innovation as a critical generator of sustainable economic growth. I look forward to tracking the changes in next year’s report.
For more information on the methodologies used in the Index or to access the full report, visit www.globalinnovationindex.or