The rise of nation’s innovation

Today, the Global Index of innovation 2013 is released by INSEAD and WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). Despite the economic crisis in many countries in and outside Europe, nations innovation is growing. The index sums up the most innovative countries each year. They are researched on 84 indicators, grouped in five pillars: (1) Institutions, (2) Human capital and research, (3) Infrastructure, (4) Market sophistication, and (5) Business sophistication. The Innovation Output Sub-Index captures actual evidence of innovation results, divided in two pillars: (6) Knowledge and technology outputs and (7) Creative outputs.

Number 1 and 2

For a few years now Switzerland is number 1 and leader of the index, followed by Sweden. Remarkable is the policy on creativity development of these countries and their none membership of the European Union.

top-ranking-country-innovation- 2013

The Netherlands

eu_regional_innovation_scoreboard_2012The Netherlands rises from the sixth position to the fourth. Earlier the Netherlands is defined by the European Commission in their Green paper on Innovation (see the index on the right), as an innovation follower instead of an innovation leader. Countries, like Sweden, who early started with on policy strategy on development of creativity, are now the innovation leaders. The Netherlands preferred an industry strategy and not a general strategy for innovation progress. That is probally the lack of the Dutch policy, they change their opinion on policy strategy too often from general to specialised policy and vice versa. Furthermore the SME’s benefit to little of the economic policy choices and programmes, and large companies like Philips do. Lastly the attention is mostly drawn to technological innovation, instead of for instance open, social and creative innovation. Policy makers believe the biggest profits are in these business lines.

Fast mover US

The United States is the fastest growing country on innovation. They moved in the index from the tenth to the fifth spot. According to the report this is due to the education system of the US and strong base of top-ranked universities. And secondly US has seen strong increases in software spending and employment in knowledge-intensive services.

Think global and act local for innovation in your own country

As an advice to stimulate growth of innovation in your own country, they suggest to still think global but act local: realize the full potential of innovation in your own backyard. Don’t try to copy models from elsewhere, like Silicon Valley, because they might not be suitable for your country. Learn and improve your local systems of innovation. They also highlight in this report the importance of innovation hubs. Countries must create and provide an environment that unleashes the potential for innovation. This means knowledge and institutions must be available, stimulate start-ups, make seed capital possible for these kind of companies, facilitate access to soft and hard infrastructure and develop a business-friendly legal framework. But above all, create your own formula and innovation eco-system, just by locating the interest and need of the people and companies you want and need to attract.

If you’re interested in attracting creatives to your region. Read also my blog about the location choices creatives make and their benefits of locating in a hub. Recent research in The Netherlands presented another perspective on clustering and the output of these clusters.

Want to read the full report of GII 2013? Go to the site of The GII.

Do you need help with your policy making on innovation? Please contact me and I can advice you.


Global index of innovation, innovation, Innovation policy
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