The good news from an innovation standpoint is that Canada moved up on the Global Innovation Index by one spot. The bad news is that Canada is still out of the Top 10 when it comes to innovation.
The 6th edition of the Global Innovation Index 2013 was co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, a specialized agency of the United Nations).
The Global Innovation Index ranks the world economies’ innovation capabilities recognizing it as a driver for economic growth and prosperity. The index is based on 84 indicators that go beyond the traditional measures of innovation such as the level of research and development. These indicators include: top universities, finance availability, and venture capital deals. Approximately 142 countries participated in this year’s index and from that perspective Canada did extremely well placing No. 11 up from No. 12 last year. But it’s a far cry from the earlier days when Canada was No. 6 worldwide.
The U.S. rejoined the top five most-innovative nations and the U.K. moved up to the third spot, while Switzerland retained its place on top. Overall, research and development spending levels surpassing 2008 levels in most countries and local innovation hubs are thriving such as the Waterloo, Ont.’s Communitech Hub.
This year’s report casts additional light on the local dynamics of innovation, an area which has remained under-measured globally. It shows the emergence of original innovation eco-systems, and signals a needed shift from a usual tendency to try and duplicate previously successful initiatives.
Francis Gurry, the WIPO Director General, said dynamic innovation hubs are multiplying around the world despite the difficult state of the global economy. These hubs leverage local advantages with a global outlook on markets and talent. For national-level policy makers seeking to support innovation, realizing the full potential of innovation in their own backyards is often a more promising approach than trying to emulate successful innovation models elsewhere.
The top 10 looked like this:
- Switzerland (Number 1 in 2012)
- Sweden (Second last year as well)
- UK (Up from No. 5)
- Netherlands (Up from No. 6)
- USA (America was No. 10 in 2012
- Finland (Down from No. 4)
- Hong Kong (Up from 8)
- Singapore ( Down from No. 3)
- Denmark (Down from No. 7)
- Ireland (Down from No. 9)
A few of the indicator areas where Canada did poorly was in School life expectancy/years,
Graduates in science & engineering, and Researchers headcount. In each area Canada was unable to provide a figure.
Meanwhile, top countries Switzerland and Sweden’s performance reflects the fact that both countries are leaders in all components (pillars) of the GII, consistently ranking in the top 25. The United Kingdom has a well-balanced innovation performance (ranking 4th in both input and output), in spite of a relatively low level of growth in labor productivity. The United States continues to benefit from its strong education base (especially in terms of top-rank universities), and has seen strong increases in software spending and employment in knowledge-intensive services. The US was last in the GII top 5 in 2009, when it was number one.