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Who is the most innovative nation on Earth?

innovationindexEach year INSEAD business school produce their Global Innovation Index in collaboration with WIPO and Cornell University. The Index aims to rank 142 countries based upon their innovation capabilities. The league table highlights what INSEAD believe are the keys to having an innovative economy. The top ten nations are all those who have invested in talent, provided a supportive institutional environment and have the right mindset for innovation.

“The U.S. is one of the countries which, in spite of the crisis, has maintained its level of investment in research and development and in innovation-related sectors. We see, for instance, a remarkable increase in spending on computer software which is directly applied to research and innovation,” said Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director, INSEAD European Competitiveness Initiative & co-author, Global Innovation Index Report.

The index compiles its league table by comparing each nation on 84 different indicators, including things such as the quality of their universities, the availability of finance and the measurable results of innovation. You can see the top ten nations below, together with their 2012 position in brackets.

Top Ten 2013 Ranking
1 Switzerland (Number 1 in 2012) 6 Finland (4)
2 Sweden (2) 7 Hong Kong (China) (8)
3 United Kingdom (5) 8 Singapore (3)
4 Netherlands (6) 9 Denmark (7)
5 United States of America (10) 10 Ireland (9)
      A video discussing the report below features author Bruno Lanvin.

One thing the authors are clear on is the importance of being original. They urge countries not to try and copy the hubs and clusters that are so successful in other countries, and instead suggest nations would do better by focusing on the local strengths they enjoy over other regions.
“For national-level policy makers seeking to support innovation, realising the full potential of innovation in their own backyards is often a more promising approach than trying to emulate successful innovation models elsewhere,” said Francis Gurry, the Director General of WIPO. “These hubs leverage local advantages with a global outlook on markets and talent.”
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