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Swiss Hold Crown As World’s Most Innovative Nation

When you think of something running like clockwork, Switzerland comes to mind and that’s probably why the nation held on to the title of the world’s most innovative nation.

Sweden retained second place, while Britain moved up two places to third, followed by The Netherlands and a new top five entrant – the USA.

The highest climber in the top 10 was the USA – up five places – while Singapore dropped five places from third to eighth.

The Global Innovation Index 2013 looked at 142 economies and applied a complex set of tools to assess innovation.

Published by Cornell University and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the index includes UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon as a joint author.

Talent and resources

The report explained Switzerland and Sweden ranked in the top 25 nations for each of the 80 indicators, which gives them high scores compared to many other nations.

The index also revealed that innovation tends to develop in groups of countries, and while countries may swap positions in their group, none move from one group to another.

“The number of innovation hubs is growing all around the world despite the variances of the global economy in different regions,” said WIPO director general Francis Gurry.

“These pockets work with local talent and resources but have a global outreach.

“Governments need to recognise this talent is developing right under their noses and work to encourage what is happening in their own region rather than; looking at other successful innovators and trying to emulate them.”

No frontiers

The index also puts the spotlight on a number of emerging countries – China, Costa Rica, India, and Senegal – which are all nations where innovation is outstripping the growth of neighbours in their regions, even though these countries still have not broken into the top rankings.

The authors point out that these nations are progressing remarkably well despite their low personal incomes compared to countries on the leaderboard.

“High income economies may dominate the list, but the leading nations are a mix of economies from every continent, which shows innovation has no frontiers or financial limits,” said Gurry.

“On average, the richer nations outpace the rest, but the gap between them is rapidly closing.

Top 10 Innovative Nations 2013

Country2013 ranking2012 ranking
Switzerland11
Sweden22
United Kingdom35
Netherlands46
USA510
Finland64
Hong Kong78
Singapore83
Denmark97
Ireland109

Source: Global Innovation Index

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