Information from the UN’s WIPO Global Innovation Index has shown a list of the most innovative countries in the world, with Switzerland topping the list for the 12th consecutive year.
Global R&D expenditures have increased by three times to $2.4 trillion since 2000.
The scope of R&D spending is expanding globally as well. By 2020, the United States accounted for about 30% of worldwide R&D expenditures, down from over 70% in 1960. R&D has a significant impact on practically every aspect of society, whether directly or indirectly, ranging from job creation and public health to national security and industrial competitiveness.
Other essential components, in addition to R&D spending, are crucial for advancing innovation. These include, among other things, the use of technology, scientific research, and venture money.
Dorothy Neufeld of Visual Capitalist ranked the world’s most inventive economies in the infographic below using information from the UN’s WIPO Global Innovation Index (pdf below).
Subscribe to GreatGameIndia
What Defines an Innovative Economy?
Innovation is inherently challenging to quantify, but the Global Innovation Index is a longstanding attempt to do just that.
The foundation for the index, which uses 81 factors spread over seven categories to determine a country’s score, was designed to provide a more thorough analysis:
The framework seeks to discover markers that support an innovative atmosphere and ground-breaking technologies, as the above table illustrates.
It’s important to remember that each country’s overall innovation score is a composite of these categories, and that even those with comparable ratings may excel in certain domains.
The 50 Most Innovative Countries in 2022
For the 12th consecutive year, Switzerland tops the list, overtaking Israel, South Korea, and the United States.
This may come as a shock to many people. However, the nation’s intellectual property laws are regarded as being of the highest calibre, and they are supported by a strong partnership between academia and business. Furthermore, the nation draws outstanding talent as a result of its high standard of living.
The United States, which spends more than $700 billion annually on R&D, comes in second. Four of the top five R&D-spending businesses in the world are American: Apple ($18.8 billion), Microsoft ($19.3 billion), Alphabet ($27.6 billion), and Amazon ($42.7 billion).
|Rank||Country / Region||Score|
|4||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||59.7|
|6||🇰🇷 South Korea||57.8|
|14||🇭🇰 Hong Kong||51.8|
|24||🇳🇿 New Zealand||47.2|
|30||🇨🇿 Czech Republic||42.8|
|31||🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates||42.1|
Europe is well represented in the top 10, with Sweden (#3), the United Kingdom (#4), and the Netherlands (#5) in the top three.
Sixth-placed South Korea is renowned for its intense R&D efforts. This is fueled by its chaebols, or industrial conglomerates, which are often family-owned. One of its largest corporations is LG, which is renowned for its extensive corporate-academic cooperation. Another is Samsung.
We’ll examine the most innovative nations by region in more detail below.
The United States is ranked first in North America. The nation has a long history of developing novel concepts and technology that have fundamentally altered the way we live and conduct business, earning it a reputation as a global leader in innovation. Indicators like university-industry R&D collaboration and intangible asset intensity place the United States first overall.
Canada (world rank: 15) is ranked second in the area. On measurements of joint venture and strategic alliances per billion dollars of GDP (PPP) and the number of venture capital (VC) beneficiaries per billion dollars of GDP, it comes out on top across all nations (PPP). Over 752 deals, VC investment in 2021 totaled $14.7 billion.
Honduras (#113) is another intriguing illustration. A new economic zoning initiative called Zones for Economic Development and Employment (ZEDEs) is propelling innovation in the nation.
A quarter billion dollars in private investment capital and thousands of new jobs have been generated by these zones thus far.
Thanks to its growing innovation sector, Chile (ranked 50) leads the region. There are currently thought to be 8,000 tech enterprises there. Additionally, the region’s greatest level of mobile connectivity is found in this nation. It introduced the first 5G network in South America in late 2021.
Following Chile is Brazil (#54), which experienced a record number of initial public offerings in 2021 with a total value of approximately $7 billion.
Middle East and Central Asia
Israel (#16) is the only nation in the world to spend more than 5% of its GDP on research and development, ranking highest in the region. In terms of exports of information and communication technology (ICT) services as well as patent applications, it leads the world.
To put things in perspective, the nation has 16 times as many startups per person as Europe.
Second place is held by the small island nation of Cyprus (#27), which is aided by start-up-oriented government funding. Turkey, which is ranked third (#37), is home to six unicorns* thanks to the growth of a megatech corridor from Istanbul to Izmir.
A startup that is privately held and valued at more than $1 billion is called a unicorn.
Europe is a driving force for fostering innovative ecosystems, home to 15 of the top 25 economies worldwide.
The continent also excels in social advancement, equality, and quality of life. The region has a Gini Index score of 30, whereas America has a score of 41.
Although many people don’t immediately think of Europe when they think about technical output, venture capital deals increased by more than 53% in 2021. Leading cities for VC activity were London, Berlin, and Paris.
East Asia and Oceania
With the 6th rank in East Asia and Oceania, South Korea has made a name for itself as a world innovator and technology leader. The government is driving projects on smart industrial complexes, AI, and smart healthcare systems under its New Deal agenda. It is also quickening the development of environmentally friendly infrastructure and renewable energy.
Hyundai and Kia, both of South Korea, have made significant strides in the production of electric vehicles (EVs), now accounting for 9% of the EV market in the United States, the second-highest percentage behind Tesla.
China, which is currently ranked first in a variety of indicators such as labour productivity growth and trademarks by origin, is just outside the top 10 countries in the world. From 2011 to 2019, China’s economic production per employed worker climbed an amazing 4.2% yearly.
Mauritius (#45), an island republic, is ranked highest in Africa.
The power of its institutions and the sophistication of its market highlight its rank. Government spending on tech incubators, research-business partnerships, and tax breaks for R&D investment is increasing in the meantime.
Following Mauritius on the list is South Africa (#61), where the city of Cape Town has attracted a planned $300 million Amazon headquarters.
In 2018, Panasonic established a headquarters in Cape Town. The nation’s burgeoning tech sector is home to offices for Oracle, IBM, Google, and Microsoft as well.
Read the study below: