The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2013 report was released on 1 July 2013.

The GII ranks the innovation capacity and results of 142 countries and economies using seven indicators: Institutions, Human capital and research, Infrastructure, Market sophistication, Business sophistication, Knowledge and technology outputs and Creative outputs.

The top ten innovating countries come from different parts of the globe, but notably 7 out of the 10 are European: 

  • Switzerland (Number 1 in 2012)
  • Sweden (2)
  • United Kingdom (5)
  • Netherlands (6)
  • United States of America (10)
  • Finland (4)
  • Hong Kong (China) (8)
  • Singapore (3)
  • Denmark (7)
  • Ireland (9)

Australia comes in at 19.

Year on year, there is a striking stability in the list. The GII rankings show that that the top 10 and the top 25 innovators in the world have remain unchanged since 2012. While individual countries swapped their respective rankings within these groups, not a single country moved in or out of these groups in 2013.

One interpretation of this is that innovation success leads to the emergence of a virtuous circle: once a critical threshold has been reached, investment attracts investment, talent attracts talent, and innovation generates more innovation.

One remarkable characteristic of that trend is that emerging markets have increased their R&D faster than the most developed countries. Over the last five years, China, Argentina, Brazil, Poland, India, Russia, Turkey and South Africa (in that order) have been at the forefront of this phenomenon. Emerging markets, and notably China, are also largely driving the growth in patent filings worldwide.

The report contains eight analytical chapters. The first chapter ‘Local Dynamics Keep Innovation Strong in the Face of Crisis’ provides a cautiously optimistic and yet highly contrasted view of innovation across the globe.

Subsequently, the report focuses on top global innovation hot spots using various indicators. The figure below shows the world’s top regional start-up ecosystems in 2012:

Click here to view chart.

The report measures regional innovation from the European perspective and emphasizes the role of private enterprise champions in strengthening innovation hubs. In the final chapter, the report analyses the evolution of innovation in the Arab world, India and Uruguay.

Based on the findings of the report, the authors publish an interesting Global Innovation Dream Team poster which identifies countries leading in each indicator of the GII 2013.

The GII 2013 press release is published on the WIPOs website. The full report is available for download here (7Mb). The GII 2013 website provides country rankings, media and past reports. The report was jointly released by WIPO, Cornell University, INSEAD and its Global Innovation Index 2013 edition Knowledge Partners, Booz & Company, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), du and Huawei.