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WIPO Releases 2022 Global Innovation Index


On September 29, 2022, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released the 2022 Global Innovation Index (GII). Switzerland, the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are the most innovative economies in the world, and China ranks 11th. Other emerging economies, including India and Turkey, also maintained their consistently strong performances, both entering the top 40 for the first time.


The report shows that R&D and other investments that drive global innovation activities will continue to flourish in 2021, but challenges in translating innovation investment into impact have emerged, with current technological advances and applications showing signs of slowing down.

1. Main conclusions

(1) R&D spending by top global companies will increase by nearly 10% to more than $900 billion in 2021, higher than in 2019 before the pandemic. This growth was primarily driven by four industries: ICT hardware and electrical equipment; software and ICT services; pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; and construction and industrial metals.

(2) The growth rate of global R&D investment in 2020 is 3.3%, which is a slowdown from the record high of 6.1% in 2019. Government budget allocations in the economies with the highest R&D spending showed strong growth in 2020.

Government R&D budgets for 2021 are a different story: South Korea and Germany are spending more, while the U.S. and Japan are shrinking.

(3) Venture capital deals will surge 46% in 2021, matching levels during the dotcom boom of the late 1990s. Venture capital growth was strongest in Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa.

The 2022 VC outlook is clearer, though; tighter monetary policy and the impact on VC investment will decelerate VC investment.

2. GII ranking

In the annual ranking of world economies in terms of innovation capacity and output (Table 1), the GII shows that there have been some important changes in the ranking of the top 15: the United States climbed to 2nd, the Netherlands 2nd, Singapore 7th, Germany 8th, China Up 1 place to 11th, just one step away from the top ten.

Canada (15th) is back in the top 15 of global innovators. Turkey (37th) and India (40th) entered the top 40 for the first time. In addition, Vietnam (48th), Iran (53rd) and the Philippines (59th) are by far the fastest-growing middle-income economies in terms of innovation performance.

In terms of levels of economic development, some developing economies have outperformed expectations in terms of innovation, including newcomers Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.

The eight innovation performers are from sub-Saharan Africa, with Kenya, Rwanda and Mozambique leading the way. In Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil, Peru and Jamaica outperformed development.

3. Global innovation landscape

(1) North America

The U.S. climbed to second place, while Canada rejoined the top 15 global innovators, rising to 15th. Of the 81 GII indicators for 2022, the U.S. has the highest global score on 15, including global corporate R&D investors, venture capital investors, university quality, quality and impact of scientific publications, and corporate intangible asset strength.

Canada scored highest in recipients of venture capital, joint venture and strategic alliance deals, and spending on computer software.

(2) Europe

Europe continues to have the largest number of innovation leaders, with 15 in the top 25. Of the 39 European economies involved, 12 moved up the rankings this year: Netherlands (5), Germany (8), Austria (17), Estonia (18), Luxembourg (19), Malta (21) , Italy (28), Spain (29), Poland (38), Greece (44), the Republic of Moldova (56) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (70).

For the 12th year in a row, Switzerland has been the world's number one in innovation. It leads the world in innovation output, particularly in terms of domestic patent filings, software spending, high-tech manufacturing and production, and export sophistication.

Sweden (3) leads the world in infrastructure and business sophistication, ranking first in indicators such as researchers, R&D spending and knowledge-intensive employment.

After entering the top 10 in 2016, Germany has achieved the highest ranking since 2009 this year, leading the world in terms of global corporate R&D investors. Estonia has made significant progress and entered the top 20, leading the world in indicators such as venture capital transactions, ICT service imports, new business creation, and mobile application development.

(3) Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania

Two economies in the Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania region, South Korea (6) and Singapore (7), are among the top 10 global innovators; another five economies are in the top 25, namely China (11) and Japan (13). ), Hong Kong (14), New Zealand (24) and Australia (25). Singapore, China and New Zealand all improved this year's rankings.

For the region as a whole, Vietnam (48), the Philippines (59), Indonesia (75), Cambodia (97) and Laos (112) have made the most progress over the past decade. These economies also lead in key innovation indicators.

Vietnam leads the world in high-tech imports and the Philippines leads the world in high-tech exports.

Indonesia has made a leap this year, achieving its best ranking since 2012, leading the world in entrepreneurship policy and culture, as well as making significant progress in innovation linkages and intangible assets, in start-up and large-scale corporate financing, corporate intangibles Indicators such as asset strength performed well.

(4) Central and South Asia

India (40), after breaking into the top 50 in 2020, took the first place in the region and entered the top 40 this year. Iran (53) and Uzbekistan (82) are close behind.

India is the innovation leader in the lower middle income group, continues to lead the world in ICT services exports, and maintains top rankings in other indicators including Venture Capital Received Value, Start-up and Scale Business Financing, Science and Engineering Graduation production, labor productivity growth and domestic industrial diversification.

Iran ranks third in the lower middle income group and for the second year in a row has outperformed expectations for its level of development in innovation, leading the world in indicators such as trademark filings and science and engineering graduates.

Uzbekistan rose four places in the rankings, outperforming development expectations for the first time in innovation. Sri Lanka (85), Pakistan (87) and Bangladesh (102) have improved significantly this year. However, only Pakistan's ranking has remained stable over time.

(5) North Africa and West Asia

Israel (16), Cyprus (27), and the United Arab Emirates (31) are leaders in the region in terms of innovation.

Israel has been an innovation leader for the past 15 years, in venture capital deals, female employees with advanced degrees, international patent applications filed through the WIPO Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) per unit of GDP, ICT services exports in total trade In terms of proportion, they are far ahead.

The United Arab Emirates is moving towards the top 30, continuing to rank in the top five for the number of corporate researchers and private sector-funded R&D. Turkey (37) entered the top 40, ranking 4th globally for intangible assets and showing clear advantages in industrial designs, trademark filings and corporate intangible asset density.

Ten other economies in the region also rose in the rankings, including notable improvements in Saudi Arabia (51), Qatar (52), Kuwait (62), Morocco (67) and Bahrain (72).

(6) Latin America and the Caribbean

Chile (50) is the only Latin American country to make the top 50, ranking first in the region, followed by Brazil (54) and Mexico (58).

Chile ranks better in higher education enrolment and new businesses. Brazil has made notable progress in innovation output, especially in terms of creative output such as intangible assets and online ideas, as well as trademark filings and mobile app development.

Mexico leads in indicators such as creative product exports, high-tech imports and exports.

Eight of the 18 economies covered in the region moved up the rankings. Colombia (63), Peru (65), Argentina (69) and the Dominican Republic (90) have all moved up the rankings this year.

Notably, Peru leads the world this year in indicators such as loan availability for microfinance institutions, graduates in science and engineering, and utility model applications. Peru, Brazil and Jamaica (76) also outperformed expectations for their level of development in terms of innovation.

(7) Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa (61) took the top spot in the region, followed by Botswana (86) and Kenya (88). 16 economies in the region have risen in the GII rankings. In addition to Mauritius and Botswana, Ghana (95), Senegal (99), Zimbabwe (107), Ethiopia (117) and Angola (127) all made notable improvements.

South Africa tops the list for market capitalization, while Botswana performs well in indicators such as MFI lending and intellectual property payments. Namibia (96) leads the world in education spending and far outperforms the regional average in human capital and research.

Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of innovation outperforming economies (8), with Kenya holding the record for the 12th year in a row. Rwanda (105) and Mozambique (123) have also been strong performers.

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