Switzerland, Sweden and Singapore are the most innovative countries in the world, according to a study by the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Insead, that found a wide gap between rich and poor nations.
Innovation is an important engine of growth and new jobs, the Global Innovation Index 2012, which ranked 141 economies, showed. The index considered institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure and market and business sophistication, as well as as the results of innovation such as patents and software in determining how countries fared.
“Policies to promote innovation are critical to the debate on spurring sustainable economic growth,” WIPO director general Francis Gurry said in a statement from Geneva.
Finland ranked fourth, followed by the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland and the US.
Canada, which came in at No. 8 last year, is the only economy exiting the top 10, while the US fell from seventh place because of shortfalls in areas such as education and human resources.
Brazil, Russia India and China, the four largest emerging markets known as BRIC, need to invest further in their innovation capabilities, according to the report.
While China ranks fifth in terms of knowledge and technology outputs, both it and India face weaknesses in their innovation infrastructure and environment, the study indicated.
Brazil’s ranking dropped the most among the BRIC nations.