Research highlights the world’s most innovative countries, in a new ranking by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
The world’s leading economies have always been driven by innovation. From the invention of steam power and electricity to the development of artificial intelligence - science and technology have advanced industry and society to new levels.
In today’s digital world, countries that prioritize and nurture innovation are better positioned to address global challenges, from climate change to health crises.
But which nations are truly leading the charge in the realm of innovation?
The Global Innovation Index 2023 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has ranked the 15 countries leading the world in science, technology and innovation.
According to the report, these nations are pioneering “a digital innovation wave, built on artificial intelligence (AI), supercomputing and automation, and a deep science innovation wave, based on biotechnologies and nanotechnologies”.
Here’s a summary of the achievements that have helped to place these countries among the world’s top 15 innovators:
1: Switzerland: Retains its top position in the Global Innovation Index 2023 for the 13th consecutive year. A robust innovation ecosystem is supported by well-established research institutions, a high level of R&D spending, and a conducive regulatory environment.
2: Sweden: Leads the world in business sophistication and has the highest ranked researchers. A strong performance in human capital adds to its high ranking.
3: United States: The home of Silicon Valley and world-renowned universities. The US scores highest in R&D investment.
4: United Kingdom: The UK’s strengths lie in its knowledge-intensive services and global R&D companies. It ranks 3rd for market sophistication.
5: Singapore: With its strategic location, pro-business policies and emphasis on knowledge-based industries, Singapore is the highest-ranked Asian country.
6: Finland: Ranked first in the world for infrastructure. An emphasis on education and research, plus a collaborative approach between the public and private sectors, drives its innovation success.
7: Netherlands: Ranks 8th in the world for business sophistication. Its open economy and strategic location in Europe makes it a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.
8: Germany: Germany ranks 4th in human capital and research. It is a global leader in manufacturing and technology-driven innovations.
9: Denmark: Denmark is ranked 3rd for infrastructure, topping the list for environmental performance in that category.
10: Republic of Korea: South Korea’s R&D investment budget grew by 7.1% in 2021. An emphasis on electronics and telecommunications has made it a tech powerhouse in Asia.
11: France: Scored highly for industrial designs and for originating trademarks. France is noted for its commitment to digital innovation, especially in areas like AI and fintech.
12: China: China’s R&D spend is the second largest in the world, behind the US, and its research investment grew by 9.8% in the latest rankings.
13: Japan: Home to the world's largest science and technology cluster based in Tokyo-Yokohama, Japan is a top 3 Asian nation for filing patents.
14: Israel: Often referred to as the 'start-up nation', it ranks 5th in the world for knowledge and technology outputs.
15: Canada: Canada's research institutions and government policies have been supportive of innovation. It ranks 4th in the world for market sophistication.
Source: Simon Torkington
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda