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Global Innovation Index 2020

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Innovation in the times of Corona: At the top everything remains the same

Switzerland remains the most innovative country in the world. This is the conclusion reached by the Global Innovation Index 2020 (GII 2020) presented on September 2. Sweden is again in second place, followed by the United States of America (USA) in third place. Behind them, Great Britain and the Netherlands swap places. As in previous years, Germany remains in ninth place. New in the top ten is the Republic of Korea in tenth place.

The index thus shows stability at the top even in the pandemic year, but a gradual shift of innovation locations to the east can be observed, according to the report: a group of Asian economies - especially China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam - have made significant progress in the innovation ranking over the years.

Pandemic slows down and accelerates innovation

The COVID 19 pandemic is having a strong impact on the long-standing, sustained increase in global innovation and, according to the 2020 GII, is likely to inhibit some innovative activities, while accelerating the invention effort in other areas, particularly in the health sector, but also in education, tourism and retail.
While the impact of the pandemic on science and innovation systems will take time to unfold, there are positive signs of increased international cooperation in the field of science, according to the GII 2020. At the same time, there are fears that important research projects could be abandoned and the drive for innovation could be interrupted internationally.

A key question is how the economic consequences of the COVID 19 crisis will affect start-ups, venture capital and other traditional sources of innovation financing. Many governments are putting together emergency aid packages to cushion the effects of the lockdown and counter the threat of recession. However, the GII 2020 suggests that further rounds of government support will need to prioritize and then expand support for innovation, especially for smaller companies and start-ups.

Germany leads the way in patents

Sixteen of the GII innovation leaders among the top 25 are European countries, seven of them rank among the top 10. According to GII 2020, Germany is one of the countries with the highest spending on research and development. The level of interactions within the German innovation ecosystem is remarkable, with the country ranking 8th for university/industry cooperation and 3rd for cluster development. According to the GII, Germany is home to 10 of the world's 100 leading science and technology clusters, with Cologne (19th place) and Munich (23rd place) among the top 25.

The GII 2020 rates the level and quality of the innovations produced by Germany as exceptional. The country of origin Germany is considered the world leader in patents by origin and ranks among the top 10 in PCT patents, high-tech manufacturing, industrial design, ICT and organizational modeling, and country code top-level domains. In the new GII indicator "Global Brand Equity", Germany is ranked 11th and is home to 149 of the world's 5,000 leading brands.
According to the GII, Germany also still has potential for improvement, for example, in the area of company start-ups and new business models.

More about the Global Innovation Index

The Global Innovation Index on global innovation strength, published annually by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in cooperation with the French business school INSEAD and Cornell University in New York, is based on 80 indicators. These range from traditional criteria such as expenditure on research and development and international patent and trademark applications to more recent indicators such as the development of apps for cell phones and exports of high-tech products. The GII was conducted for the 13th time.

Further information on the topic can be found on the website of the Global Innovation Index 2020.

Further information can be found on the website of the Global Innovation Index 2020, where you can read or download the complete GII 2020 or the summary evaluation for Germany as a pdf document.
You can also watch a video of the message of greeting from Christine Lambrecht, Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, on the publication of the GII 2020.

Picture: iStock.com/monsitj

Last updated: 21 September 2020 

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