Global Innovation Index 2017

Global Innovation Index 2017: Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, USA, UK Top Annual Ranking

According to the recently released 2017 Global Innovation Index, 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 Vietnam are outperforming their development-level peers.

Some of the key findings include: the rise of India as an emerging innovation centre in Asia, high innovation performance in Sub-Saharan Africa relative to development, and an opportunity to improve innovation capacity in regions 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.”

Top 10 Countries (previous ranking in brackets):

  1. Switzerland (Number 1 in 2016)
  2. Sweden (2)
  3. Netherlands (9)
  4. United States of America (4)
  5. United Kingdom (3)
  6. Denmark (8)
  7. Singapore (6)
  8. Finland (5)
  9. Germany (10)
  10. Ireland (7)

(For reference, China ranked 22nd (previously 25th) and Australia was ranked 23rd ( previously 19th).

The full list can be found, here.

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.

“Efforts to bridge the innovation divide have to start with helping emerging economies understand their innovation strengths and weaknesses and create appropriate policies and metrics,”

said Soumitra Dutta, Dean, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University.

“This has been the GII’s purpose for more than ten years now.”

A group of middle and lower-income economies perform significantly better on innovation than their current level of development would predict: A total of 17 economies comprise these ‘innovation achievers’ this year, a slight increase from 2016. In total, nine come from the Sub-Saharan Africa region, including Kenya and Rwanda, and three economies come from Eastern Europe.

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 Vietmam 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.

The Global Innovation Index 2017 is co-authored by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Each year, the GII surveys some 130 economies using numerous metrics, from patent filings to education spending.

Photo credit: Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from The Global Innovation Index.


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