22 August 2016

Qatar makes significant strides in Global Innovation Index 2016

Qatar is ranked first in the world on two indicators, Ease of Paying Taxes and Tertiary Inbound Mobility of International Students in the Global Innovation Index 2016, reports Qatar's Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The annual Global Innovation Index explores rising share of innovation carried out via globalised innovation networks and is themed Winning with Global Innovation. The report also concludes that there is ample scope to expand global corporate and public R&D cooperation to foster future economic growth. It is published by UN's World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), INSEAD Business School and Cornell University.

The 2016 report highlights that gains from global innovation can be shared more widely as cross-border flows of knowledge and talent are on the rise. The Index, which measures performance of 128 countries on 82 indicators, placed Qatar third in the Arab world and 50th globally in the overall performance rankings.

Qatar advanced six positions on the Infrastructure pillar (ICT access and use), 10 positions on Market Sophistication and 28 positions on Business Sophistication, ranking 16th, 68th and 78th globally, respectively. Other wins for Qatar are - Electricity output (6th), University/industry research collaboration(8th), State of cluster development (8th), Joint venture/strategic alliance deals (8th) and Foreign direct investment outflows (16th).

Qatar is now ranked 52nd on Wikipedia edits and 46th on Video uploads on YouTube indicators within Online creativity sub-pillar. Qatar gained five ranks in Generic top-level domains and is now ranked 56th globally.

According to Qatar’s ICT Landscape Report 2016: Business, 13% of multinational ICT companies invested in R&D, with 8% of the local ICT companies investing in R&D activities in 2014. Among the ICT enterprises investing in R&D in Qatar, a majority (63%) of them spent less than 5% of their annual budget for R&D in 2014 in Qatar.

Source: Global Innovation Index. Top rankings for the Global Innovation Index.
Source: Global Innovation Index. Top rankings for the Global Innovation Index.

Switzerland emerged as the global leader among innovative economies followed by Sweden, the UKm the US and Finland. Singapore at 6th place was the top-ranked Asian country and the only Asian representative in the top 10, with Korea coming in 11th.

Mainland China joins the ranks of the world’s 25 most-innovative economies for the first time, also the first time a middle-income country has joined the highly developed economies that have historically dominated the top of the Global Innovation Index through its nine years of surveying the innovative capacity of 100-plus countries across the globe, noted Cornell, INSEAD and WIPO.

"China’s progression reflects the country’s improved innovation performance as well as methodological considerations such as improved innovation metrics in the Global Innovation Index," they said in a statement. "Despite China’s rise, an 'innovation divide' persists between developed and developing countries amid increasing awareness among policymakers that fostering innovation is crucial to a vibrant, competitive economy."

“Investing in innovation is critical to raising long-term economic growth,” says WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “In this current economic climate, uncovering new sources of growth and leveraging the opportunities raised by global innovation are priorities for all stakeholders.”

Japan, the US, the UK, and Germany stood out in “innovation quality,” a top-level indicator that looks at the calibre of universities, number of scientific publications and international patent filings. China is 17th in innovation quality, making it the leader among middle-income economies for this indicator, followed by India which has overtaken Brazil.

Soumitra Dutta, Dean, Cornell College of Business and co-editor of the report, said: “Investing in improving innovation quality is essential for closing the innovation divide. While institutions create an essential supportive framework for doing so, economies need to focus on reforming education and growing their research capabilities to compete successfully in a rapidly changing globalised world.”

Bruno Lanvin, INSEAD Executive Director for Global Indices, and co-author of the report, emphasised, “Some may see globalisation as a trend in search of its ‘second breath.’ Yet, the relative contraction of international trade and investment flows does give even more strategic importance to the two sides of global innovation: on one hand, more emerging countries are becoming successful innovators, and on the other hand, an increasing share of innovation benefits stem from cross-border co-operation.”

Source: Global Innovation Index. Regional innovation leaders.
Source: Global Innovation Index. Regional innovation leaders. In the Middle East, the UAE ranked first, followed by Saudi Arabia.

At the national level, the report says that innovation policies should more explicitly favour international collaboration and the diffusion of knowledge across borders. New international governance structures should also aim to increase technology diffusion to and among developing countries.

Johan Aurik, Managing Partner and Chairman of GII Knowledge at AT Kearney, the global consultancy, says: “Digital has become a primary driver of strategy development and innovation for business in almost all sectors; I am convinced we are only at the beginning. Notably for established organisations, the challenge lies in finding ways to successfully innovate by using and transforming existing resources and business practices. Realising success in today’s new landscape requires creative, forward-thinking strategies that embrace digital and address the need to change the fundamental ways of working in the company.”

Regional analyses include:

Central and Southern Asia

India, at 66th, is the top-ranked economy in Central and Southern Asia, showing particular strengths in tertiary education and R&D, including global R&D intensive firms, the quality of its universities and scientific publications, its market sophistication and ICT service exports where it ranks first in the world. India also over-performs in innovation relative to its GDP. It ranks second on innovation quality amongst middle-income economies, overtaking Brazil. Relative weaknesses exist in the indicators for business environment, education expenditures, new business creations and the creative goods and services production.

“The commitment of India to innovation and improved innovation metrics is strong and growing, helping to improve the innovation environment. This trend will help gradually lift India closer to other top-ranked innovation economies,” says Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Following India in the region are Kazakhstan (75th), the Iran (78th), Tajikistan (86th), Sri Lanka (91st), and Bhutan (96th).

Northern Africa and Western Asia

Of the top five Global Innovation Index performers in this region, two are from the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): UAE (41st) and KSA (49th). Many of the GCC countries are diversifying their economies following a decades-long dependence on oil, turning their focus towards more innovation-driven and diverse sources of growth and overcoming relative shortcomings in areas, such as Institutions, market and business sophistication.

“Innovation no longer occurs in silos; today it crosses borders and relies on collaboration between various entities to create a win-win prospect. The UAE is harnessing a globalised strategy to lead innovation internationally through its Smart City agenda and bring about a greater degree of convenience and satisfaction, and ultimately happiness, for all,” says Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer, du.

Turkey ranks 4th in the region in 2016 and 42nd overall. The region shows its highest average scores in ICT access and ICT-driven business model creation, as well as in e-government, and productivity growth. The report also said many of the GCC countries are diversifying their economies following a decades-long dependence on oil, turning their focus towards more innovation-driven and diverse sources of growth and overcoming relative shortcomings in areas, such as Institutions, market and business sophistication.

Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania

Singapore (6th), Korea (11th), Hong Kong (14th), Japan (16th), and New Zealand (17th) lead the rankings in this region. The majority of innovation leaders in the Global Innovation Index are in this region, or in Europe.

Among upper-middle income economies, China (25th), Malaysia (35th), and Thailand (52nd) rank first in the region. Vietnam (59th) maintains its top place among lower-middle-income economies, followed by the Philippines (74th,) and Indonesia (88th). Low-income economy Cambodia maintains its ranking in the top 100 economies overall (95th).

The region’s strongest average performance is in the number of teachers per pupils and productivity growth, with lower scores in R&D financed by foreign firms, ICT services exports and imports, and intellectual property receipts.


Read the Global Innovation Index 2016 report (also available in Chinese)