When it comes to innovation, which country reigns supreme? It’s time to find out.

Source: https://www.statista.com/chart/18804/rankings-of-the-global-innovation-index/

This is the result of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Global Innovation Index (GII) 2019. It evaluated the countries based on different factors such as business sophistication, level of human and capital research, and creative outputs. Switzerland tops the list this year with a score of 67.24 out of 100 making it the ninth time that it has been named the world leader in innovation. It is followed by Sweden and USA respectively. Majority of countries in the top 12 are from Europe while Singapore is the leader in Asia when it comes to innovation.

The lowest-ranked countries for this year were Niger, Burundi, and Yemen where political instability, civil wars, or conflict stifle growth and innovation.

The GII Framework

The GII Index studied 129 economies over the globe. WIPO examined 80 indicators under seven pillars:

The seven pillars of GII, Adapted from “Global Innovation Index 2019”, by World Intellectual Property Organization, 2019, retrieved from https://www.wipo.int

Here we see the multidimensionality of innovation. When it comes to innovating, one isn’t only concerned by the amount of investment that goes into innovation. Other factors like the quantity, quality, and impact of these innovations should also be considered. To allow innovation, an environment which encourages it must also be laid down first.

Taking all these factors into account, WIPO developed GII as a metric for innovation of the participating countries.

Highlights

At 67.24, Switzerland once again tops the GII list for this year. It is followed by Sweden (63.65) and the US (61.73).

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Here are some noteworthy findings for this year’s edition:

  • Israel moves up to 10th place this year. This makes the country the first one in the Northern Africa/ Western Asia region to pierce through the top ten.
  • China continues to move up in the rankings, now at the 14th spot. The country remains to be the only middle-income economy in the top 30.
  • Switzerland ranked as the top in terms of GII for the ninth year in a row. The country has been in the top position since 2011.
  • Despite economic uncertainty, innovation expenditures have been growing and seem resilient in light of the current economic cycle.

 

Top 3 innovation economies by region, Adapted from “Global Innovation Index 2019”, by World Intellectual Property Organization, 2019, retrieved from https://www.wipo.int

The preceding infographic displays the top three innovation economies per region:

  • China is a new entrant for the top three innovators in its region.
  • India holds the top spot in the Central and Southern Asia region for nine years in a row now, having held the position since the year 2011.

New Frontiers

Fostering a culture of innovation is a responsibility not only of the few — it is a concerted effort by the various sectors of our society.

Therefore, it is imperative that we never cease to create something new in our fields of expertise. It is not only a means to improve our abilities, but also a huge help in accelerating development across all fronts.

Leaders and corporate entities, on the other hand, should see to it that an environment that will promote innovation is set in place.

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