UAE 34th on INSEAD’s Global Innovation Index 2011


INSEAD, the leading international business school, today announced the findings of The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2011 edition. Switzerland topped this year’s GII ranking, with Sweden (2nd) and Singapore (3rd). Joining INSEAD as Knowledge Partners for the report were Alcatel-Lucent, Booz & Company, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations.

The GII includes 16 economies from the Middle East and North Africa, of which two—Qatar (26th) and the United Arab Emirates (34th) —are ranked among the top 40. While other GCC economies are ranked in the top 60; Bahrain (46th), Kuwait (52nd), Saudi Arabia (54th) and Oman gaining eight places (57th). Three countries from the region are within the bottom fifteen including the SyrianArabRepublic (115th), Yemen (123rd) and Algeria (125th).

‘Innovation is critical to driving growth in both developed and emerging economies, especially during a time when the global economy is still in a state of recovery,’ said Soumitra Dutta, Roland Berger Professor of Business and Technology at INSEAD and editor of the study. ‘The GII has evolved into a valuable benchmarking tool to encourage private-public dialogue including policy-makers, business leaders and other stakeholders.’

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry stressed that ‘Innovation is central to economic growth and to the creation of new and better jobs. It is the key to competitiveness for economies, for industries and for individual firms.’ He added that ‘innovation and its many benefits do not come without the investment of time, effort and human and financial resources,’ noting that this report captures efforts by a large number of economies to provide an enabling environment that promotes innovation.

China (29th) is the top-ranked emerging economy while India is ranked (62nd), Sri Lanka (82nd), Bangladesh (97th), and Pakistan (105th).

Dr. Naushad Forbes, Chairman of the CII Innovation Council 2011-12 and Director of Forbes Marshall commented: ‘Today the whole world is talking about innovation in all forms starting from industry to government to society. After the recent economic slowdown the focus has shifted clearly towards the developing regions not only in terms of a booming potential market but also a hot spot for frugal innovations. Measuring this shift is important to know how we are doing, the GII is a starting point to do that and unquestionably in the right direction.’

The Global Innovation Index is computed as an average of the scores across inputs pillars (describing the enabling environment for innovation) and output pillars (measuring actual achievements in innovation). Five pillars constitute the Innovation Input Sub-Index: ‘Institutions,’ ‘Human capital and research,’ ‘Infrastructure’, ‘Market sophistication’ and ‘Business sophistication’. The Innovation Output Sub-Index is composed of two pillars: ‘Scientific outputs’ and ‘Creative outputs’. The Innovation Efficiency Index, calculated as the ratio of the two Sub-Indices, examines how economies leverage their enabling environments to stimulate innovation results.

“Governments have recognised that, in order to take advantage of the potential that innovation represents for their citizens, they must adopt policies that are friendlier towards technological advances and the absorption of knowledge so that companies can build global innovation networks so that they can foster trans-border flows of knowledge and intellectual property”, added Soumitra Dutta.

Karim Sabbagh, Senior Partner and the global leader of the Communications, Media, and Technology practice at Booz & Company added: ‘The ability to innovate is the great equalizer in the global economy. In the industrial era, nations relied on their natural resources to compete. Today, any country can advance with carefully focused investments in talent and R&D. The performance of some emerging economies in this year’s GII shows what nations can accomplish with a focus on building 21st century economies.’

Ben Verwaayen, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, said: ‘The world faces many daunting societal challenges, which require bold, creative leaps to meet them. We need an environment where open innovation can thrive and be supported by dynamic collaboration between industries, enterprise, governments and the scientific community.’


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