Launch of the Global Innovation Index 2013

As part of my six months research stay at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, I had the privilege to work on the 2013 Global Innovation Index.

Two weeks ago, on July the 1th, Johnson Cornell University, INSEAD and the WIPO launched together with their knowledge partners Booz & Company, the Confederation of Indian Industry, du and Huawei the sixth edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII). The report was presented by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations at the High-Level Segment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Presentation of the 2013 GII at the High-Level Segment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
(c) Soeren Simon Petersen

The GII measures the level of innovation of a country. This year’s edition looked at 142 countries using 84 indicators measuring a countries innovative capacity.The GII has become one of the most established innovation indices since it highlights the key role of innovation as a driver for economic growth as well as prosperity and, furthermore, introduces new instruments to measure countries’ innovative capacity like availability of microfinance, venture capital deals, the ease of starting a business or the state of cluster development.

In times of a shaky economic environment, innovation is still alive. Most economies recouped the cuts in research and development spending caused by the 2008 economic crisis. Particularly some middle- and low- income economies like China, Costa Rica, India and Senegal have shown an outstanding performance. On a broad geographical level, Latin America has shown the most significant improvement. Nevertheless, the rankings top positions are still dominated by high-income economies like (1) Switzerland, (2) Sweden, (3) United Kingdom, (4) Netherlands and (5) the United States of America. While Switzerland retained its top position, the United States rejoined the top five and Singapore dropped from rank five to eight.

Ban Ki-moon after the presentation of the GII
(c) Soeren Simon Petersen

The theme of the 2013 GII was the ‘Local Dynamics of Innovation’ which reflects the relevance of local hubs. Those hubs or clusters are a catalyst for innovation which foment the fire of innovation. This years GII analyzed the factors which lead to excellence of innovation hubs such as incubators, technology transfer programs, local ‘champions’, a strong founding structure as well as a strong integration of those cluster in local-, regional- and international networks. It became clear that the simple replication of innovation strategies is often not an effective way to innovate. Innovation strategies have to be linked with the comparative advantages, history and culture of a particular region for being successful.

The results of the 2013 GII lead to cautious optimism. Despite the crisis in 2008 and a shaky world economy in 2012/2013, the R&D expenditures of the top 1000 R&D-spending companies have grown significantly since 2010. Furthermore the R&D-expenditures of emerging economies like China, Argentina, Brazil, Poland and India is growing much faster than high-income economies. This trends show the high importance of innovation even in times of uncertainty and scarce resources.

Attending the GII presentation
(c) Soeren Simon Petersen

For further details on the Global Innovation Index 2013 please see:

Press comments:

Bloomberg Businessweek

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Times of India

China Daily



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *