Saturday, January 10, 2009

US Tops World in Innovation Rankings

Despite economic convulsions, the US "remains the world's most most innovative economy, with unrivalled business sophistication and competitiveness, according to a new study by INSEAD, the Paris-based business school," according to the Financial Times.
The United Kingdom – also mired in recession – is the world’s fourth most innovative economy, ranking behind Germany and Sweden, the study found.

The Global Innovation Index – released in New Delhi on Tuesday – looks far beyond traditional indicators of innovation such as the percentage of gross domestic product spent on research and development, numbers of engineering graduates, and numbers of patents obtained and scientific papers published each year.

Instead, the index seeks to measure an economy’s potential for a broad range of innovation – including social, marketing, and business innovations – by assessing its institutions and policies, infrastructure, and business and market sophistication as well as people’s skills.

The study also assessed wealth, competitiveness and knowledge in the overall rankings of 130 nations.

The link above has many details, including a comparison between China and India:
China ranks higher for innovation and 37th globally, compared to India, ranked 41st. However, the rankings also show striking differences in the strengths and weaknesses of the two Asian giants.

China ranks 48th globally in terms of its infrastructure – including telecommunications infrastructure – far exceeding India, which is ranked 76th. China is ranked the 5th most competitive economy in the world.

However, India’s human skills, ranked 28th globally, outperform China’s which are 38th.

“China has a tremendous ability to delivery on infrastructure fast,” said Prof Dutta. “But India is leveraging its human capacity into competitiveness.”

Some more interesting details emerged from the massive study:
Within Asia, the Global Innovation Index judged Singapore the region’s most innovative economy, ranking it fifth globally, followed by South Korea, which ranked sixth in the world. Singapore was judged second in the world – behind Finland – in its institutional and policy environment, while South Korea topped the global list for knowledge production.

Japan, the world’s second largest economy, lagged behind, ranked third in Asia and ninth globally, faring poorly on measures of its institutions and market and business sophistication. Hong Kong ranked 12th globally overall, with its markets judged the most sophisticated in the world, but its human skills ranked only 26th globally.

How long the US can maintain its premier position, of course, is unknowable, but as the entire world economy stumbles, it appears that the US will be hit less hard than a lot of more vulnerable economies, the FT opines.

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