World’s Most Innovative Countries in 2017 Revealed; UAE 35th Globally

2020
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Global Innovation Index 2017

Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the USA and the UK are the world’s most innovative countries, while a group of nations including India, Kenya, and Viet Nam are outperforming their development- level peers, according to the Global Innovation Index 2017 coauthored by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Key findings show the rise of India as an emerging innovation center in Asia, high innovation performance in Sub-Saharan Africa relative to development and an opportunity to improve innovation capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Innovation is the engine of economic growth in an increasingly knowledge-based global economy, but more investment is needed to help boost human creativity and economic output,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “Innovation can help transform the current economic upswing into longer-term growth.”

Global Rankings

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In 2017, Switzerland leads the rankings for the seventh consecutive year, with high-income economies taking 24 of the top 25 spots – China is the exception at 22. In 2016, China became the first-ever middle income economy in the top 25.

Next to innovation powerhouses such as China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, a group of Asian economies including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Viet Nam are actively working to improve their innovation ecosystems and rank high in a number of important indicators related to education, R&D, productivity growth, high- tech exports, among others.

 

Regional Innovation Leaders

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Northern Africa and Western Asia

Israel (17th overall) and Cyprus (30th overall) achieve the top two spots in the region for the fifth consecutive year.

Third in the region is the United Arab Emirates (35th globally), which benefits from increased data availability and shows strengths in tertiary inbound mobility, innovation clusters and ICT-driven business model innovation. Sixteen of the 19 economies in the Northern Africa and Western Asia region are in the top 100 globally, including Turkey (43rd), Qatar (49th), Saudi Arabia (55th), Kuwait (56th), Armenia (59th), Bahrain (66th), Georgia (68th), Morocco (72nd), Tunisia (74th), Oman (77th), Lebanon (81st), Azerbaijan (82nd), and Jordan (83rd).

India, 60th globally, is the top-ranked economy in Central and Southern Asia and has now outperformed on innovation relative to its GDP per capita for seven years in a row. India has shown improvement in most areas, including in infrastructure, business sophistication, knowledge and technology and creative outputs.

India ranks 14th overall in the presence of global R&D companies, considerably better than comparable groups of lower- and upper-middle-income economies. India also surpasses most other middle-income economies in science and engineering graduates, gross capital formation, GERD performed by business, research talent, on the input side; quality of scientific publications, growth rate of GDP per worker, high tech and ICT services exports, creative goods exports, high-tech manufactures, and IP receipts on the output side.

The Islamic Republic of Iran (75th overall) excels in tertiary education, ranking second in the world in number of graduates in science and engineering. Tajikistan (94th) is first in the world in microfinance loans, while Kazakhstan (78th) ranks first globally in pupil-teacher ratio and third in ease of protecting minority investors.

 

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