Canada falls from top 10 ranking of innovative countries
Global Innovation Index study cites reduced support for education, R&D.
Switzerland, Sweden and Singapore are the three most innovative countries in the world, according to the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2012, a ranking of 141 countries co-produced by INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Currently in its fifth year, the GII measures the degree to which countries and economies integrate innovation into their political business and social spheres.
This is the second year running that Switzerland, Sweden and Singapore have been in the top three positions. The rest of the top ten this year are: Finland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, Hong Kong (China), Ireland and the United States.
Canada dropped out of the top ten this year, while the U.S. fell to tenth position from number seven last year, changes which the report attributes to cutbacks in spending on, and support of, education and research and development.
“The GII is a timely reminder that policies to promote innovation are critical to the debate on spurring sustainable economic growth,” WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said.
The report also points out a need for the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) to invest further in innovation to live up to their potential. Russia advanced this year in the rankings, while Brazil, China and India dropped – with Brazil suffering the largest fall.
Despite results showing the leading innovators tend to be those countries which are wealthier and more developed than most, the report includes a wide range of countries in the top 20 as well as strong performance by emerging countries including Latvia, Malaysia, Jordan, Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine, Vietnam and Senegal, plus low-income countries Kenya and Zimbabwe.
“Today’s definitions must capture an environment which is context-driven, problem-focused, and interdisciplinary,” ,” Soumitra Dutta, the GII founder and the Roland Berger Chaired Professor in Business and Technology at INSEAD. “The 2012 variables were broadened in an effort to find the right mix which captures innovation as it happens today.”
A new measurement in this year’s GII includes the Global Innovation Efficiency Index, showing which countries exhibit innovation despite an environment that may be less than supportive.
China, India and the Republic of Moldova are the top three in this category; four of the top ten are lower-middle income countries: Malta, Switzerland, Paraguay, Serbia, Estonia, the Netherlands, and Sri Lanka.