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Singapore, Canada Lead Global Innovation List

27 August 2012

Singapore, Canada Lead Global Innovation List

Singapore is one of the best places in the world for innovators, according to a study released by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Global Innovation Policy Index benchmarks the effectiveness of the innovation policies of 55 countries – including virtually all EU, OECD, APEC and BRIC economies – and provides a framework for making effective policies.

The Policy Index assesses the countries against 84 indicators grouped across seven core innovation policy areas: 1) trade and foreign direct investment; 2) science and R&D; 3) domestic market competition; 4) intellectual property rights; 5) information technology; 6) government procurement; and 7) high-skill immigration.

The Index ranks countries as either upper tier, upper-mid tier, lower-mid tier or lower tier on each of the seven policy areas and overall, and highlights best practices in policy development among these countries that other nations can learn from. Only Singapore and Canada placed in the upper tier on all seven innovation policy indicators, while the United States placed in the top tier in every category except openness to high-skill immigration. The report ranks 18 countries as upper tier, 15 as uppermid tier, 13 as lower-mid tier, and nine as lower tier in innovation policy.

“Countries are engaged in a fierce race for global innovation advantage,” ITIF President Robert Atkinson said, “but they can compete in ways that either maximize their innovation capacity while producing positive spillovers for the world, such as by investing in research or education, or compete by less effective policies that often distort global markets through ‘innovation mercantilism.’ The Policy Index highlights countries’ ‘good’ innovation policies and provides a scorecard of how effectively leading countries are adopting them.” 

The report says that countries will not be able to achieve sustainably high rates of innovation if their governments have not implemented a broad range of innovation-enabling policies that create the conditions in which organizations throughout their economies can successfully innovate.

“We hope the Innovation Policy Index helps countries better understand the strengths and weaknesses of their national innovation ecosystem compared with their global peers, while highlighting scores of best practices in innovation policy through which countries can learn from one another,” said Robert Litan, vice president of research and policy for the Kauffman Foundation. “The report clearly shows how openness to domestic market competition is a critical element of fostering an entrepreneurship-friendly environment in countries around the world.”

Rank of Countries on Innovation Policy Capacity, in alphabetical order
Including all ranked Asian nations and select others

Upper Tier Upper-Mid Tier Lower-Mid Tier Lower Tier
Australia Israel Brazil India
Canada South Korea China Indonesia
Hong Kong Spain Malaysia Philippines

New Zealand



United Kingdom

United States

Source: Global Innovation Policy Index 2012


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