Singapore leads Asia in global innovation index

Tuesday, 5 July 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

INSEAD, the leading international business school, last week announced the findings of The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2011 edition.

Alcatel-Lucent, Booz & Company, the Confederation of Indian Industry, and the World Intellectual Property Organization are Knowledge Partners in the project.

Created in 2007, the GII is a composite indicator that synthesizes metrics on enablers and results of innovation in emerging and industrialised countries.  This year’s GII Top 10 includes two Asian economies: Singapore (3rd) and Hong Kong (4th).

Singapore’s strengths in institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication and business sophistication, contributed to its significant jump from the 7th position in last year’s GII. Switzerland topped the overall rankings in the 1st spot followed by Sweden in the 2nd position.  

‘Innovation is critical to driving growth in both developed and emerging economies, especially during a time when the global economy is still in a state of recovery,’ said Soumitra Dutta, Roland Berger Professor of Business and Technology at INSEAD and editor of the study.

 ‘The GII has evolved into a valuable benchmarking tool to encourage private-public dialogue including policy-makers, business leaders and other stakeholders.’

The Global Innovation Index examines how countries leverage their enabling environments to stimulate innovation results. Five pillars constitute the Innovation Input Sub-Index: 'Institutions,' 'Human capital and research,' 'Infrastructure', 'Market sophistication' and 'Business sophistication'.

The Innovation Output Sub-Index is composed of two pillars: 'Scientific outputs' and 'Creative outputs’.  

 ‘Innovation is central to economic growth and to the creation of new and better jobs,’ said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. ‘It is the key to competitiveness for countries, for industries and for individual firms. It is the process by which solutions are developed to social and economic challenges as well as the source of improvements in the quality of all aspects of our material life.’  

Ben Verwaayen, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, said: ‘The world faces many daunting societal challenges, which require bold, creative leaps to meet them. We need an environment where open innovation can thrive and be supported by dynamic collaboration between industries, enterprise, governments and the scientific community.’

In this light, the Report highlights those countries that achieve more from lesser conditions, as well as those that lag behind in fulfilling their innovation potential by means of the Innovation Efficiency Index – the ratio of the Output score over the Input score.

Three BRIC countries are among the Top 10 on Innovation Efficiency. China is the only emerging economy to have reached the Top 30 on the GII (29th), a score leveraged by its 14th position on the Output Sub-Index. Brazil leads the Output ranking among upper-middle-income countries (32nd on Output, 47th overall), and India achieved the 10th position on efficiency, and made it to the upper half of the GII ranking (44th on Output, 59th on input, 50th on output).

Dr. Naushad Forbes, Chairman of the CII Innovation Council 2011-12 and Director of Forbes Marshall  commented: ‘Today the whole world is talking about innovation in all forms starting from industry to government to society. After the recent economic slowdown the focus has shifted clearly towards the developing regions not only in terms of a booming potential market but also a hot spot for frugal innovations. Measuring this shift is important to know how we are doing, GII is a starting point to do that and unquestionably in the right direction.’

The Report includes analytical chapters to expose recent global innovation trends that can hardly be captured by traditional metrics. These were provided by Knowledge Partners, all leading actors in the area of innovation.

Topics include: affordable innovations in India; insights on innovation in Latin America; the smart and sustainable cities; the global footprint of R&D, and metrics on creativity and copyright-related industries.  Hatem Samman, Director, The Ideation Center, Booz & Company, added: ‘With increasing globalisation, corporate innovation strategies are also becoming more global. It’s critical, however, that organisations tread lightly about where to deploy their R&D resources, keeping in mind where the best talent can be found and which markets they want to enter.’