The most innovative countries

The most innovative countries

Several interesting facts were thrown up by the Global Innovation Index published during 2013 – issues that look likely to continue into this year. The nation that was right the world's most innovative was Switzerland (for the second year running), followed by Sweden. The United Kingdom claimed third place, Netherlands was fourth, while the United States of America rejoined the top five. Asian nations came in at seventh and eighth in the top ten (respectively Hong Kong – China and Sinpapore).

The report highlighted the encouraging fact that despite the economic crisis that has afflicted the major world economies over the past two years, innovation in all its varieties and fields remains alive and well. While those countries occupying the key positions have tended to remain fairly constant presence is in these reports, a further aspect worth noting is the rise of middle or low income countries. This batch includes the likes of India, China, Senegal, and Costa Rica. While they haven't actually broken into the top of the leader board, they are beginning to outpace their peers.

The report also revealed interesting aspects of the local dynamics of innovation. While this is an area that has remained off the scope of previous reports, it has now been demonstrated that original innovation eco-systems have emerged in many local areas. This means that there needs tone a sift away from the well-worn tendency to simply duplicate initiatives that were previously proven.

It can clearly be demonstrated that there are innovation hubs multiplying across the globe, despite the fragile state of the international economy. These hubs factor in local advantages that take into account those circumstances most pertinent to the research being undertaken. According to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director-General Francis Gurry: ‘For national level policymakers seeking to support innovation, realizing the full potential of innovation in their own backyard is often a more promising approach than trying to emulate successful innovation models elsewhere'.

In producing this report, the economies of 142 countries were examined right across the globe. 84 indicators were used to establish the league table positions, including the quality of top universities, the use of micro-finance, and the range of venture capital deals being undertaken. These factors were employed to both gauge each highlighted country's capabilities for innovation, and to measure the results for comparison with their peers. This report has now become the benchmark for policy makers and business executives throughout the world, seeking an insight into the current state of innovation .