Line chart and statistics of the 2014 global innovation index (GII) as calculated by INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization. In the top 50 ranked countries, 43 or 86% are HI economies, only 6 or 12% are UM (upper-middle income), and 1 or 2% is LM (lower-middle income). Eight small countries appear among the top ranked ten nations, with Switzerland at the topmost rank. The two heavyweights that manage to sneak among them are the United Kingdom, number 2, and the United States, number 6.

The 2014 GII - global innovation index ranking, published by INSEAD and WIPO, brings comfort to the idea that HI (high income) economies are more adept to rank higher in innovation than lower income ones. In the top 50 ranked countries, 43 or 86% are HI economies, only 6 or 12% are UM (upper-middle income), and 1 or 2% is LM (lower-middle income) — as the popular saying goes, "money buys money".

Eight small countries appear among the top ranked ten nations, with Switzerland at the topmost rank. The two heavyweights that manage to sneak among them are the United Kingdom, number 2, and the United States, number 6. In short, the 2014 ranking offers more of the same: a shining performance by a bunch of smaller, developed economies.

The chart is structured by income group affiliation, showing by a red line the median GII for each of the four income groups. It becomes obvious that innovation is more likely to be higher in wealthy economies (HI group) than in poor ones (LI group).The median value for each group goes up by increasingly large discrete steps, as the set transitions from one given income group to the next higher income group.

The innovation index seems to corroborate other data pertaining to science and technology prestigious awards and to world-class universities, suggesting that small developed economies such as Switzerland, Finland or Singapore can outrun the biggies in terms of innovation and efficiency.

Innovation, along with other social factors such as public health, education or quality of life, is ruled not by distributive justice, but by positive feedback — the higher the development level, the more likely to be highly innovative. Poorer countries will have a hard time to catch up with the already wealthier ones, and, other things remaining the same, the gaps are more likely to widen than the contrary.

The much emphasized "economies of scale", allegedly capable of providing large economies with intrinsic efficiency and cost advantages, are nothing but a mirage, distracting from the true drivers of prosperity and quality of life. Being big and heavy may be useful if the goal is to cause harm, as in a fist fight — a graphic illustration is provided by the current state of African, Middle Eastern or Central Asian affairs, where the western powers have poured their military might to try and crush mushrooming rebellions.

The case is altogether distinct if the goal is to build progress, well-being and quality of life for the people. As the GII suggests, elephantine size does not make anyone smarter. It is ludicrous that the EU (European Union), self-satisfied with its own plumpness, could ever dream of becoming "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion" by 2010. This so-called 2000 Lisbon Strategy, highly publicized before the 2008 world crisis, has been kept strictly hush-hush thereafter. EU leaders have good reasons to feel discomfited. In 2015, while EU keeps struggling for survival, the neighboring and small Switzerland achieves a much enviable performance for its people, its economy and its innovativeness.

 

Global Innovation Index
2014 ¹

Country

Overall Score ²

Ranking

Income Group ³

Region ⁴

Albania30.4794UMEUR
Algeria24.2133UMNAWA
Angola23.82135UMSSF
Argentina35.1370UMLCN
Armenia36.0665LMNAWA
Australia55.0117HISEAO
Austria53.4120HIEUR
Azerbaijan29.6101UMNAWA
Bahrain36.2662HINAWA
Bangladesh24.35129LICSA
Barbados40.7841HILCN
Belarus37.158UMEUR
Belgium51.6923HIEUR
Benin24.21132LISSF
Bhutan31.8386LMCSA
Bolivia, Plurinational State of27.76111LMLCN
Bosnia and Herzegovina32.4381UMEUR
Botswana30.8792UMSSF
Brazil36.2961UMLCN
Brunei Darussalam31.6788HISEAO
Bulgaria40.7444UMEUR
Burkina Faso28.18109LISSF
Burundi22.43138LISSF
Cabo Verde30.0997LMSSF
Cambodia28.66106LISEAO
Cameroon27.52114LMSSF
Canada56.1312HINAC
Chile40.6446HILCN
China46.5729UMSEAO
Colombia35.568UMLCN
Costa Rica37.357UMLCN
Côte d'Ivoire27.02116LMSSF
Croatia40.7542HIEUR
Cyprus45.8230HINAWA
Czech Republic50.2226HIEUR
Denmark57.528HIEUR
Dominican Republic32.2983UMLCN
Ecuador27.5115UMLCN
Egypt30.0399LMNAWA
El Salvador29.08103LMLCN
Estonia51.5424HIEUR
Ethiopia25.36126LISSF
Fiji30.3995UMSEAO
Finland60.674HIEUR
France52.1822HIEUR
Gambia29.03104LISSF
Georgia34.5374LMNAWA
Germany56.0213HIEUR
Ghana30.2696LMSSF
Greece38.9550HIEUR
Guatemala30.7593LMLCN
Guinea20.25139LISSF
Guyana32.4880LMLCN
Honduras26.73118LMLCN
Hong Kong (China)56.8210HISEAO
Hungary44.6135UMEUR
Iceland54.0519HIEUR
India33.776LMCSA
Indonesia31.8187LMSEAO
Iran, Islamic Republic of26.14120UMCSA
Ireland56.6711HIEUR
Israel55.4615HINAWA
Italy45.6531HIEUR
Jamaica32.4182UMLCN
Japan52.4121HISEAO
Jordan36.2164UMNAWA
Kazakhstan32.7579UMCSA
Kenya31.8585LISSF
Korea, Republic of55.2716HISEAO
Kuwait35.1969HINAWA
Kyrgyzstan27.75112LICSA
Latvia44.8134HIEUR
Lebanon33.677UMNAWA
Lesotho27.01117LMSSF
Lithuania4139HIEUR
Luxembourg56.869HIEUR
Madagascar25.5124LISSF
Malawi27.61113LISSF
Malaysia45.633UMSEAO
Mali26.18119LISSF
Malta50.4425HIEUR
Mauritius40.9440UMSSF
Mexico36.0266UMLCN
Moldova, Republic of40.7443LMEUR
Mongolia37.5256LMSEAO
Montenegro37.0159UMEUR
Morocco32.2484LMNAWA
Mozambique28.52107LISSF
Myanmar19.64140LISEAO
Namibia28.47108UMSSF
Nepal23.79136LICSA
Netherlands60.595HIEUR
New Zealand54.5218HISEAO
Nicaragua25.47125LMLCN
Niger24.27131LISSF
Nigeria27.79110LMSSF
Norway55.5914HIEUR
Oman33.8775HINAWA
Pakistan24134LMCSA
Panama38.352UMLCN
Paraguay31.5989LMLCN
Peru34.7373UMLCN
Philippines29.87100LMSEAO
Poland40.6445HIEUR
Portugal45.6332HIEUR
Qatar40.3147HINAWA
Romania38.0855UMEUR
Russian Federation39.1449HIEUR
Rwanda29.31102LISSF
Saudi Arabia41.6138HINAWA
Senegal30.0698LMSSF
Serbia35.8967UMEUR
Seychelles38.5651UMSSF
Singapore59.247HISEAO
Slovakia41.8937HIEUR
Slovenia47.2328HIEUR
South Africa38.2553UMSSF
Spain49.2727HIEUR
Sri Lanka28.98105LMCSA
Sudan12.66143LMSSF
Swaziland25.33127LMSSF
Sweden62.293HIEUR
Switzerland64.781HIEUR
Tajikistan23.73137LICSA
Tanzania, United Republic of25.6123LISSF
TFYR of Macedonia36.9360UMEUR
Thailand39.2848UMSEAO
Togo17.65142LISSF
Trinidad and Tobago31.5690HILCN
Tunisia32.9478UMNAWA
Turkey38.254UMNAWA
Uganda31.1491LISSF
Ukraine36.2663LMEUR
United Arab Emirates43.2536HINAWA
United Kingdom62.372HIEUR
United States of America60.096HINAC
Uruguay34.7672HILCN
Uzbekistan25.2128LMCSA
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of25.66122UMLCN
Viet Nam34.8971LMSEAO
Yemen19.53141LMNAWA
Zambia25.76121LMSSF
Zimbabwe24.31130LISSF

Median scores by country groupings

HI = high income50.44
UM = upper-middle income35.70
LM = lower-middle income30.03
LI = low income25.50
 
NAC = Northern America 58.11
EUR = Europe 45.65
SEAO = South East Asia and Oceania39.28
NAWA = Northern Africa and Western Asia35.19
LCN = Latin America and the Caribbean32.45
SSF = Sub-Saharan Africa27.52
CSA = Central and Southern Asia26.14
¹ For previous years, see Innovation Score Lists. However, rankings are not fully comparable across different years, because the number of countries covered by the survey varies.
² GII (Global Innovation Index) (0-100) rests upon two sub-indices, the Innovation Input Sub-Index and the Innovation Output Sub-Index, each built around several pillars. The overall GII is the simple average of the Input and Output Sub-Indices.
³ World Bank Income Group Classification : LI = low income; LM = lower-middle income; UM = upper-middle income; and HI = high income.
 United Nations Classification: EUR = Europe; NAC = Northern America; LCN = Latin America and the Caribbean; CSA = Central and Southern Asia; SEAO = South East Asia and Oceania; NAWA = Northern Africa and Western Asia; SSF = Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Sources: INSEAD - WIPO.

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