Canadian Manufacturing

Canada again misses top 10 in Global Innovation Index

The story was better for Canada's G-7 competitors, with the U.S. jumping up five spots to rank fifth in this year's study

GENEVA—Canada has moved up one spot, placing eleventh in the 2013 edition of the Global Innovation Index, but is still far from the consecutive top-ten performances of 2007 and 2008.

The story was better for Canada’s G-7 competitors, with the United States jumping up five spots to rank fifth in this year’s study, while the United Kingdom moved from fifth in 2012 to third place this year.

Switzerland retained its top ranking in the index, which is published jointly by Cornell University, French business school INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The report concludes that, despite the economic crisis, innovation is alive and well.

Research and development spending has increased beyond 2008 levels in most countries and middle- and low-income countries—including China, Costa Rica, India and Senegal—are outpacing their peers, but have yet to crack the top of the GII 2013 leader board.

“Dynamic innovation hubs are multiplying around the world, despite the difficult state of the global economy. These hubs leverage local advantages with a global outlook on markets and talent.” said WIPO director general Francis Gurry. “For national-level policy makers seeking to support innovation, realizing the full potential of innovation in their own backyards is often a more promising approach than trying to emulate successful innovation models elsewhere.”

The GII 2013 measured 142 global economies against 84 indicators, including the quality of top universities, availability of microfinance and venture capital deals—gauging both innovation capabilities and measurable results.

The study suggests Switzerland and Sweden’s performance reflects that both countries are leaders in all components of the GII, consistently ranking in the top 25.

The U.K. has a well-balanced innovation performance (ranking 4th in both input and output) despite relatively low labor productivity growth.

The U.S. continues to benefit from strong education provided by top-rank universities, and has seen strong increases in software spending and employment in knowledge-intensive services. The U.S. was last in the GII top 5 in 2009, when it placed first.

“While high income economies dominate the list, several new players have increased their innovation capabilities and outputs,” stressed Mr. Soumitra Dutta, co-editor of the report and Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University. “On average, high-income countries outpace developing countries by a wide margin across the board in terms of scores; a persistent innovation divide exists.”

This, however, does not hold true for Canada, which was dragged down by poor “Innovation Efficiency Ratio,” ranking 68th out of 142. And while Canada ranked 25th in Human Capital and Research, it only managed to rank 102 in the effectiveness of it’s “Tertiary Education,” which means college and university effectiveness.

Canada ranked 23rd for gross expenditure on R&D, which is represented as a percentage of GDP. Canada’s energy efficiency also ranked poorly, placing 86th in GDP generated-per unit of energy used.

Read the full Global Innovation Index 2013, which allows you to select reports by country for free, here.

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