Switzerland named as the most innovative country in the world

by Ray Clancy on August 17, 2016

If you want to move to a country that is considered innovative, then Switzerland is the place to choose, followed by Sweden, the UK and the United States, according to a new index report.

Switzerland leads the 2016 rankings, the same position it had in 2015, while China joins the ranks of the world’s 25 most innovative economies compiled by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), for the first time.

switzerlandFifteen of the top 25 economies come from Europe, including the top three. Following the top three are Finland in fifth, Ireland seventh, Denmark eighth, the Netherlands ninth, and Germany in tenth position.

The report says that Europe benefits from comparatively strong institutions and well developed infrastructure, while room for improvement is found in business sophistication and knowledge and technology outputs. Europe does particularly well in environmental performance, ICT access, and school life expectancy.

At the same time, there is room for improvement in R&D financed by businesses, R&D financed by foreign firms, high-tech exports, and international patent filings.

In fourth place the US continues to be one of the world’s most-innovative nations, with particular strengths including the presence of firms conducting global R&D, the sophistication of its financial market, including venture capital, the quality of its universities and scientific publications, software spending, and the state of its innovation clusters

The US scores lower, however, in expenditures on education, in tertiary education due to its low share of graduates in science and engineering, in energy efficiency, and in economy wide investment and productivity critical to future growth.

Chile takes the top spot in Latin America and the Caribbean and is placed 44 overall and the report says this is driven by good scores on the indicators for institutions, infrastructure and business sophistication. It also says that Latin America is a region with important untapped innovation potential.

At 66 overall, India is top in the Central and Southern Asia region, showing particular strengths in tertiary education and R&D, including global R&D intensive firms, the quality of its universities and scientific publications, its market sophistication and ICT service exports where it ranks first in the world.

Of the top five performers in the Northern Africa and Western Asia region two are from the six member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The United Arab Emirates is at 41 overall and Saudi Arabia at 49.

The report explains that many of the GCC countries are diversifying their economies following a decades long dependence on oil, turning their focus towards more innovation-driven and diverse sources of growth and overcoming relative shortcomings in areas, such as Institutions, market and business sophistication.

Since 2012, Sub-Saharan Africa has counted more countries than any other region among the group of innovation achievers, countries that perform better than their level of development would predict.

This year, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Uganda stand out. Better rankings on the indicators for institutions, business sophistication, and knowledge and technology output have allowed the region to catch up to Central and Southern Asia, and to overtake Northern Africa and Western Asia.

While in South East Asia, East Asia, and Oceania Singapore is top and in sixth place overall, followed regionally by Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and New Zealand at 11, 14, 16 and 17 respectively.

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