Worldwide 28 Sep 2021

Sweden – still at the top!

For consecutive third year, Sweden secures proudly a second place as one of the world’s best innovation countries, which is presented in the “Global Innovation Index 2021”. Switzerland also retains the top spot. This year is also focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on innovation.

The Global Innovation Index, presented by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), captures the innovation ecosystem performance of 132 economies and tracks the most recent global innovation trends. It shows that Governments and enterprises in many parts of the world scaled up investments in innovation amid the massive human and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, illustrating a growing acknowledgement that new ideas are critical for overcoming the pandemic and for ensuring post-pandemic economic growth.

Scientific output, expenditures in research and development (R&D), intellectual property filings and venture capital (VC) deals continued to grow in 2020, building on strong pre-crisis performance. Notably, R&D expenditures showed greater resilience during the pandemic-linked economic downturn than in previous slumps.

“This year’s Global Innovation Index shows us that in spite of the massive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lives and livelihoods, many sectors have shown remarkable resilience – especially those that have embraced digitalization, technology and innovation”, said WIPO Director General Daren Tang.

In its annual ranking of the world’s economies on innovation capacity and output, the GII shows that only a few economies, mostly high income, consistently dominate the ranks. However, selected middle income economies, including China, Turkey, Viet Nam, India, the Philippines, are catching up and changing the innovation landscape.

Switzerland, Sweden, U.S., and U.K. continue to lead the innovation ranking, and have all ranked in the top 5 in the past three years. The second best Nordic country in the ranking is Finland in seventh place, followed by Denmark in ninth place.

The full top 10-list can be found below, with each country’s placement from 2020 in parentheses. The world’s 10 most innovative countries 2021:

1  Switzerland (1)
2  Sweden (2)
3  United States of America (3)
4  United Kingdom (4)
5  Republic of Korea (10)
6  Netherlands (5)
7  Finland (7)
8  Singapore (8)
9  Denmark (6)
10 Germany (9)

About Global Innovation Index and Global Innovation Tracker
The 2021 edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII) presents the latest global innovation ranking of 132 economies, relying on 81 different indicators. While tracking the most recent global innovation trends in the new Global Innovation Tracker, this edition also focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on innovation. The Global Innovation Tracker uses a set of indicators identified in the three stages of the innovation journey: Science and innovations investments, Technological progress and Socioeconomic impact.

Global Innovation Index 2021 & Global Innovation Tracker>

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