Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Innovation success leads to the emergence of a virtuous circle : once a critical threshold has been reached, investment attracts investment, talent attracts talent, and innovation generates more innovation."

Said : Global Innovation Index 2013 report, published annually since 2007. Global Innovation Index (GII) - now in its sixth edition - provides a major bench marking tool to business executives, policy makers and others about the state of innovation around the world. This year's report analysed 142 country profiles, including data, ranks and strengths and weaknesses on 84 indicators.

The Global Innovation Index (GII) is co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD (one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools having capuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, a specialized agency of the United Nations). 

According to this year's report, the top five innovative countries were : Switzerland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Netherlands and USA in that order. "The United States continues to benefit from its strong education base (especially in terms of top-rank universities), and has seen strong increases in software spending and employment in knowledge-intensive services. The US was last in the GII top 5 in 2009, when it was number one," said a GII press release.

Top Ten 2013 ranking :

  1. Switzerland (Number 1 in 2012)
  2. Sweden (2)
  3. United Kingdom (5)
  4. Netherlands (6)
  5. United States of America (10)
  6. Finland (4)
  7. Hong Kong (China) (8)
  8. Singapore (3)
  9. Denmark (7)
  10. Ireland (9)

The report notes that "despite the economic crisis, innovation is alive and well. Research and development spending levels are surpassing 2008 levels in most countries and successful local hubs are thriving. A group of dynamic middle- and low-income countries – including China, Costa Rica, India, and Senegal - are outpacing their peers, but haven’t broken into the top of the GII 2013 leader board."

The report also notes that "too many innovation strategies have been focused on trying to replicate previous successes elsewhere, like Silicon Valley in California. However, fostering local innovation requires strategies that should be deeply rooted in local comparative advantages, history and culture. They should be combined with a global approach to reach out to foreign markets, and attract overseas talent."

According to the GII 2013 report, R&D expenditures have grown since 2010 in spite of adversity and tightened budget policies. The R&D expenditures of top 1,000 R&D spending companies have grown between 9 and 10 % in 2010 and 2011. A similar pattern has been observed in 2012.

Another striking trend, the report observes, is that emerging markets have increased their R&D faster than high-income countries. Over the last five years, China, Argentina, Brazil, Poland, India, Russia, Turkey and South Africa (in that order) have been at the forefront of this phenomenon. Emerging markets, and notably China, are also largely driving the growth in patent filings worldwide.

Mr. Li Yingtao, Head of Huawei’s R&D laboratories (one of the knowledge partners), commenting on the findings of the report said : "Growing research and development investments and the rising number of intellectual property patents filed are tangible examples of a growing commitment to innovation. In the global economy, innovation from anywhere can drive change and create new opportunities everywhere. Everyone concerned with innovation as a catalyst for economic and social development needs to remain focused on how the value of innovation is to transform industries, businesses and people’s lives, not just locally but across the world.”

"At no other point in history has so much money been spent on R&D worldwide. Never before has innovation been so well distributed among countries," observed the GII 2013 publishers while releasing the same at the United Nations in Geneva (Switzerland) on 01 July 2013.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his remarks at the launch of GII 2013, said : "Science, technology and innovation have played an enormous role in advancing health, education, sustainable energy and other development challenges. This year’s Global Innovation Index shows that the face of innovation in the twenty-first century is changing. Innovation is increasingly open, collaborative and international." 

The full GII 2013 report is available here.

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