The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021

The 14th edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII) was released today. Published since 2007, the GII has been a useful source of analysis for measuring innovation.

The GII 2021 was published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in partnership with the Portulans Institute and with the support of its corporate partners.

The GII 2021 contains the latest global innovation ranking of 132 economies, relying on 81 indicators. The theme of this year’s report is Tracking Innovation through the COVID-19 Crisis.

The GII 2021 also introduced the Global Innovation Tracker. This new feature provides insights into innovation trends by using indicators identified in the following stages of the innovation journey: science and innovations investments, technological progress, and socioeconomic impact.

WIPO shared some findings in the press release published today:

  • “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[.]
  • [T]he impact of the crisis has been highly uneven across industries, according to a new GII feature, the Global Innovation Tracker.
  • Firms with outputs including software, internet and communications technologies, hardware and electrical equipment industry and pharmaceuticals and biotechnology amplified their investments in innovation and increased their R&D efforts.
  • In contrast, firms in sectors heavily hit by the pandemic’s containment measures and whose business models rely on in-person activities – such as transport and travel – cut back their outlays, the tracker showed.
  • The number VC deals grew by 5.8 percent in 2020, exceeding the average growth rate of the past 10 years.
  • The publication of scientific articles worldwide grew by 7.6 percent in 2020”.

Some highlights contained in the GII 2021 report are:

  • Canada went up to 16th place in the GII rank, topping “in venture capital deals and joint ventures and strategic alliance deals”.
  • The U.S.A. remains in 3rd place for the third year in a row, leading “in key metrics such as patents by origin, the quality of its universities and the impact of its scientific publications and in R&D intensive global companies”.
  • Eleven economies from Latin America and the Caribbean region went up the ranking. Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Brazil rank in the top 60.
  • As in the previous year, seven European countries rank in the top 10 of the GII 2021 (review here some highlights of the GII 2020 by this Kat).
  • Switzerland has topped the ranking for the last eleven years.
  • Switzerland and Sweden lead “in international patent applications filed via WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)”.
  • South Africa tops “in market capitalization”, while Kenya holds “the record of outperformer for eleven consecutive years”.
  • Israel is leading “in R&D expenditures, venture capital deals and PCT patents”.
  • India continues holding the “world leadership in the indicator of exports of ICT services”.
  • Korea went up in indicators related to “trademarks, global brand value, and cultural and creative services export”.
  • China “boasts 19 of the top science and technology clusters worldwide - with Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou and Beijing in the 2nd and 3rd spots, respectively”.

The top 10 of the global innovation ranking of GII 2021 are:

1. Switzerland (No. 1 in 2020)
2. Sweden (No. 2 in 2020)
3. United States of America (No. 3 in 2020)
4. United Kingdom (No. 4 in 2020)
5. Republic of Korea (No. 10 in 2020)
6. Netherlands (No. 5 in 2020)
7. Finland (No. 7 in 2020)
8. Singapore (No. 8 in 2020)
9. Denmark (No. 6 in 2020)
10. Germany (No. 9 in 2020)

The GII 2021 regional innovation leaders for Northern America (NAC) are:

1. United States (GII rank: 3)
2. Canada (GII rank: 16)

The top 5 GII 2021 regional innovation leaders for Latin America and the Caribbean (LCN) are:

1. Chile (GII rank: 53)
2. Mexico (GII rank: 55)
3. Costa Rica (GII rank: 56)
4. Brazil (GII rank: 57)
5. Uruguay (GII rank: 65)

The top 5 GII 2021 regional innovation leaders for Europe (EUR) are:

1. Switzerland (GII rank: 1)
2. Sweden (GII rank: 2)
3. United Kingdom (GII rank: 4)
4. Netherlands (GII rank: 6)
5. Finland (GII rank: 7)

The top 5 GII 2021 regional innovation leaders for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSF) are:

1. Mauritius (GII rank: 52)
2. South Africa (GII rank: 61)
3. Kenya (GII rank: 85)
4. Cabo Verde (GII rank: 89)
5. United Republic of Tanzania (GII rank: 90)

The top 5 GII 2021 regional innovation leaders for Northern Africa and Western Asia (NAWA) are:

1. Israel (GII rank: 15)
2. Cyprus (GII rank: 28)
3. United Arab Emirates (GII rank: 33)
4. Turkey (GII rank: 41)
5. Georgia (GII rank: 63)

The top 5 GII 2021 regional innovation leaders for Central and Southern Asia (CSA) are:

1. India (GII rank: 46)
2. Islamic Republic of Iran (GII rank: 60)
3. Kazakhstan (GII rank: 79)
4. Uzbekistan (GII rank: 86)
5. Sri Lanka (GII rank: 95)

The top 5 GII 2021 regional innovation leaders for South East Asia, East Asia, and Oceania (SEAO) are:

1. Republic of Korea (GII rank: 5)
2. Singapore (GII rank: 8)
3. China (GII rank: 12)
4. Japan (GII rank: 13)
5. Hong Kong, China (GII rank: 14)

Review here the GII 2021 and here the ranking for all regions. Meanwhile, you can watch here the video of the highlights of the GII report.

More findings of the GII 2021 regional innovation leaders for Latin America and the Caribbean by this Kat can be reviewed here (in Spanish).

Previous GII editions can be reviewed on the dedicated WIPO’s web page and website for the Global Innovation Index.

The first image is by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.
The second and third images are Figure 3 - Government budget allocations for R&D, growth in 2020 and Figure 8 - Movement in the GII top 15, 2017–2021, under a CC BY 4.0 license. WIPO (2021). Global Innovation Index 2021: Tracking Innovation through the COVID-19 Crisis. Geneva: World Intellectual Property Organization.

The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021 The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021 Reviewed by Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo on Monday, September 20, 2021 Rating: 5

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