South Korea is most innovative country

2 February 2017

South Korea has taken the top spot in an index measuring the world’s most innovative countries.

Sweden has climbed to number two, followed by Germany, Switzerland and Finland in the 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index, which scores the top 50 economies using factors including R&D spending and the concentration of high-tech public companies.

The US made it to number nine, followed by Israel, the only other country to make it into the top 10 not from Europe or Asia.

Bloomberg said Sweden owed its rise to the manufacturing value-added metric, while Nordic neighbour Finland jumped two spots in large part because of the rise of high-tech firms in the country.

In Sweden government financing, particularly for small firms in a country traditionally dominated by multi-national companies, coupled with an emphasis on R&D, has helped the country weather the continent’s economic crisis.

The UK is at number 17 and Australia at 18. The highest ranking country from the African continent is Morocco at 50.

Russia plunged 14 spots to number 26 as sanctions and years of subdued energy prices took effect.

And currency woes took Japan from fourth to seventh while Croatia also slipped three spots, to 41 from 38.

China remained strongest-ranked emerging market, at 21, scoring lower than last year for high-tech concentrations of activity but improving its tertiary education score.

Top 10 countries for innovation:

1. South Korea

2. Sweden

3. Germany

4. Switzerland

5. Finland

6. Singapore

7. Japan

8. Denmark

9. United States

10. Israel

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