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UK second in global innovation index

Published on 18/09/15 at 10:07am
Credit: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The UK – along with Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands and the US – is in the world’s five most innovative nations, according to a report by the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

The report, the Global Innovation Index 2015, looks at which countries have the most effective innovation policies. The UK is in second place – up from 10th position in 2011.

The UK also ranks highly in terms of innovation quality – as measured by the international dimension of patent applications, as well as university performance and the reach of scholarly articles. In innovation quality the UK and the US stand out, largely as a result of their world-class universities, closely followed by Japan, Germany and Switzerland. Top-scoring middle-income economies on innovation quality are China, Brazil and India, with China increasingly outpacing the others.

The report is co-published by Cornell University, the INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Researchers surveyed 141 economies around the world, using 79 indicators to gauge both innovative capabilities and measurable results.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the UK minister for intellectual property and Parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills says: "The UK has an outstanding tradition in producing the very best in science and research: with less than 1% of the world's population we produce 16% of the top quality published research. This research excellence is a major factor in the UK maintaining its position at number two in the 2015 Global Innovation Index. The government is committed to making Britain the best place in Europe to innovate, patent new ideas and start and grow a business."

The chief executive of the Government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, welcomed the news. Ruth McKernan says: “Innovation is vital to boosting productivity and economic growth, so it’s reassuring that the UK has maintained its position as the second best country in the world to innovate, but we cannot be complacent. It takes continued effort and investment to ensure the right people, institutions and networks are there to support innovative businesses and our competitors are catching up rapidly. That’s why the work Innovate UK does to fund and connect our innovative businesses is so important.

“The UK has great strengths thanks to our world class higher education sector, excellent research and productive science base and Innovate UK has a five point plan to ensure that innovation continues to support future growth coupled with competition funding to create investable businesses that bring together researchers and our industrial capability in new and ambitious ways.”

Lilian Anekwe

Top 10 Global Innovation Rankings

1            Switzerland
2            United Kingdom
3            Sweden              
4            Netherlands
5            United States of America
6            Finland
7            Singapore
8            Ireland
9            Luxembourg
10          Denmark

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