U.S. makes comeback in innovation rankings – takes 3rd place

The United States ranks as the third most innovative economy in the world, according to the 2019 Global Innovation Index. The U.S. recovered from its 2018 fall to sixth place and came out behind only Switzerland and Sweden, which ranked first and second respectively.

The Global Innovation Index, published by the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization in cooperation with Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business and others, ranks 130 world economies in innovation performance. The GII – now in its 12th edition – ranks economies based on 80 indicators ranging from research and development investments to high-tech exports.

“While the Global Innovation Index ranks economies according to their innovation capacity and performance, it also provides valuable insights into the dynamics of global innovation: It highlights economies that excel in innovation and those that are more successful in translating investments in innovation inputs into innovation outputs,” said Soumitra Dutta, former dean and management professor at Cornell University, in a news release announcing the index’s publication. “Lessons from these innovation leaders provide useful guidance on innovation policy for others.”

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The U.S. rankings show a country in which university research and development efforts work together with private industry. The U.S. ranked first in the world on several measures tied to higher education including university-industry partnerships, published research findings, and university rankings. The U.S. also topped the charts in “market sophistication,” which includes access to credit and venture capital.

Globally, the innovation landscape has shifted over the past decade with emerging hubs in China, India, and smaller countries such as Vietnam making impressive gains. China, the world’s second-largest economy, ranked 14th, three places higher than it did last year. India, meanwhile, has risen 29 places since 2015 and currently ranks 52nd, the largest jump made by any country. The Philippines also has made impressive progress, moving up 19 places in a single year to 54th place.

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

Rounding out the top five were the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, which both fell slightly compared to last year.

You can read the full report here.


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