Switzerland heads ranking of most innovative economies

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
23 August 2016

Switzerland has topped a ranking of the world’s most innovative economies.

Sweden takes the runners-up spot, followed by the UK, the US and Finland in the annual Global Innovation Index (GII).

It is the second success in a matter of weeks for Switzerland, which also headed up a chart of supply chain resilience.

The GII, drawn up by Cornell University, INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), also showed China had entered the top 25, a first for a “middle-income” country in the nine years of the GII.

“Despite China’s rise, an innovation divide persists between developed and developing countries amid increasing awareness among policymakers that fostering innovation is crucial to a vibrant, competitive economy,” said the report.

The report said before the 2009 crisis, research and development (R&D) expenditure grew at around 7% a year but in 2014 this figure was just 4%. “This was a result of slower growth in emerging economies and tighter R&D budgets in high-income economies – this remains a source of concern,” said the report.

WIPO director general Francis Gurry said: “Investing in innovation is critical to raising long-term economic growth.

“In this current economic climate, uncovering new sources of growth and leveraging the opportunities raised by global innovation are priorities for all stakeholders.”

The index, which ranks more than 100 countries, also highlighted four economies – Japan, the US, the UK and Germany – that stood out in “innovation quality”, based on the calibre of universities, number of scientific publications and international patent filings.

The GII takes into account a number of metrics and indicators including country profiles and data from a survey and public and private sources.

Top 10 countries for innovation

  1. Switzerland
  2. Sweden
  3. UK
  4. US
  5. Finland
  6. Singapore
  7. Ireland
  8. Denmark
  9. Netherlands
  10. Germany
Regional breakdown

Sub-Saharan Africa

  1. Mauritius
  2. South Africa
  3. Kenya

Latin America and the Caribbean

  1. Chile
  2. Costa Rica
  3. Mexico

Central and Southern Asia

  1. India
  2. Kazakhstan
  3. Iran

Northern Africa and Western Asia

  1. Israel
  2. Cyprus
  3. United Arab Emirates

South East Asia, East Asia and Oceania

  1. Singapore
  2. Republic of Korea
  3. Hong Kong
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