Switzerland tops a global ranking that compares countries’ innovation prowess, thanks to investments in education and research and development that have translated into new patents and licenses.
The country comes first in the 2016 Global Innovation Index, a report which ranks 128 countries based on their capacities and results for innovation, for the sixth year in a row. The ranking is published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
Despite often-heard fears that Europe lags on innovation against American and Asian rivals, the continent fares particularly well in the list, with fifteen of the top 25 innovators, including the top three.
Following Switzerland in the ranking are Sweden, UK and the US. Rounding out the top 10 nations was Finland, Singapore, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany.
This year, China joined the world’s 25 most innovative economies, becoming the first middle income country to enter the top 25 of the index in its nine editions.
The authors say that the overall global picture for R&D investments is still not as favourable as it was before the global financial credit crunch.
Before the 2009 crisis, research expenditure in the world grew at an annual pace of approximately 7 per cent, but global R&D grew by only 4 per cent in 2014.
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Switzerland, Horizon 2020, Global Innovation Index