Switzerland ranked as most innovative country in new UN report

24 July 2019

The World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, named Switzerland as the world’s most innovative country on Wednesday, during the launch of its latest Global Innovation Index, (GII) in the Indian capital New Delhi.

Following Switzerland in the rankings are Sweden, the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. India has risen most in the rankings since 2018, jumping five places to fifty-second most innovative country.

The annual Index, which has been published for the last 12 years by WIPO, and a number of partners, is designed to help policy makers better understand innovation activity, which WIPO describes as a “main driver of economic and social development”.

Overall, this year’s Index finds that, despite the global economic slowdown, innovation is “blossoming”, particularly in Asia, but trade disruptions and protectionism are putting this at risk. It also notes that planning for innovation is critical for success:

“The Index shows us that countries that prioritize innovation in their policies have seen significant increases in their rankings,” said WIPO Director General, Francis Gurry. “The rise in the GII by economic powerhouses like China and India has transformed the geography of innovation, and this reflects deliberate policy action to promote innovation”.

Focus on future medical innovation

Key findings of the Index include concerns that public expenditure on research and development – a major element in basic and ‘blue-sky” research, which are crucial for future innovations – is stagnating, particularly in high-income countries. The report also notes that, unless it is contained, increased economic protectionism will lead to a slowdown of growth in innovation productivity.

This year, the authors of the report have focused on the future of medical innovation, with a separate healthcare section, which looks at the ways in which Artificial Intelligence (AI), genomics, and mobile-phone based health applications, will transform the delivery of healthcare.

The Global Innovation Index is a leading benchmarking tool for business executives, policy makers and others seeking insight into the state of innovation around the world. Innovation is rated in the report by using 80 indicators, from the level of Research and Development investment, for example, to mobile-phone app creation and high-tech exports.

 

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