GENEVA: Switzerland has been named as the world's most innovative economy for the fourth consecutive year, with the UK, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands rounding out the top five, new analysis has revealed.
Now in its seventh year, the latest Global Innovation Index (GII) surveyed 143 countries around the world and was produced by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
The report based its rankings on countries which it said have created "well-linked innovative ecosystems, where human capital combined with strong innovation infrastructures contribute to high levels of creativity".
But the study also assessed the quality of innovation, such as university performance, the reach of scholarly articles and the international dimension of patent applications.
By this measure, the US topped the rankings for high-income nations, followed by Japan, Germany and Switzerland – although in the overall rankings, the US was placed sixth, followed by Singapore, Denmark, Luxembourg and Hong Kong.
Among the BRICS, four improved their rankings. Brazil was ranked 61st (+3), Russia was placed 49th (+13), China was ranked 29th (+6), South Africa reached 53rd (+5), but India fell ten places to 76th in the rankings.
The progress made by China and Russia was among the most notable of all countries, the report said, with China's ranking now broadly comparable to that of many high-income economies.
"China significantly outperforms the average score of high-income economies across the combined quality indicators," the report said. "To close the gap even further, middle-income economies must continue to invest in strengthening their innovation ecosystems and closely monitor the quality of their innovation indicators."
Among low-income countries displaying above-average performance, the Sub-Saharan African region made up half of what the report called "innovation learner" economies.
Overall, Sub-Saharan Africa recorded the most significant improvement of all regions, with Côte d'Ivoire rising 20 places and Mauritius taking the leading regional position at 40th, an improvement of 13 places since last year's report.
Of Southeast Asian nations, South Korea was considered the third most innovative (16), followed by Malaysia (33), Thailand (48), Vietnam (71), Indonesia (87) and the Philippines (100).
Data sourced from World Intellectual Property Organization; additional content by Warc