If you are interested in the big picture of global innovation, you might want to download this report from INSEAD — the 2011 Global Innovation Index. It ranks 125 countries by measuring various indicators, both inputs and outputs to the innovation process. INSEAD is essentially a global business school with points of presence all around the globe. INSEAD has a number of partners in putting together this information rich report, including: Alcatel-Lucent, Booz and Company, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the World Intellectual Property Organization (a specialized agency of the United Nations).
Don’t confuse this ranking with size of economy, that’s not what’s being measured here. The “winner” Switzerland has a population of 7.6 million and an economy of 492 Billion (US).
Here are some highlights:
- The USA moved from 11th last year to 7th this year. North American neighbor Canada one step behind at 8th, up from 12th this year. This is something the Obama administration should make much of; jobs follow innovation. This index in my view is very “current”, so, it’s all happened on his watch and he can take credit for it.
- The UK moved from 14th to 10th. It will be interesting to dig deeper and see why.
- The new giant China comes in at number 4, and Singapore the mighty dwarf edges it’s Asian neighbor to take the number 3 slot. This could provide some interesting debate topics, can a socialist country innovate better than a democracy?
- Scandanavian/European countries dominated the top of the list, with Iceland at 11th, UK at 10th, Netherlands at 9th, Denmark at 6th, Finland at 5th, Sweden at 2nd, and Switzerland claiming the top marks at number 1.
- Greece notably is 63rd, falling behind countries like Chile, Moldova, and Lithuania. Again, looking at the details here should prove interesting.
- There are some interesting sub-reports. For instance Chapter Six explores the relationship between Creativity and Innovation. It says:
“Little attention has been paid to the need to measure culture and creativity or to construct relevant indices that can shed light on this complex relationship.”
The download site provides an Executive Summary and as I browse through it there are a lot of insights into “what’s going on out there.”