BENGALURU: The Global Innovation Index (GII) has ranked India as the 57th most innovative nation in the world. The country has improved its ranking from 60th position last year. India has been improving steadily since it was ranked 81st in 2015. Meanwhile, China improved its ranking from 22 in 2017 to 17 this year.
The GII is being developed jointly by Cornell University, the Paris-based business school Insead and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva. GII ranks 126 economies based on 80 indicators. It is now in its 11th edition and has become a major input for policymakers on innovation around the world.
Since 2011, Switzerland has been ranked at the top every year. This year, Netherlands follows at second place and Sweden at third. The US drops down to sixth from fourth last year. Apart from a rearrangement among themselves, the top 10 nations in GII have not changed.
After a precipitous drop in 2014 and 2015, India has been steadily improving its GII ranking in the last four years. “It is surprising that India is not ranked higher,” says Francis Gurry, director general of WIPO. “But there is a consistent trend now, and I expect the trend to continue.”
Although ranked at 57, India is a top performer in the lower middle income group, where it is ranked at fifth position. It is the most innovative country in its region of central and southern Asia. In the indicators that capture the quality of innovation inputs and outputs, India is ranked second after China in the lower and upper middle income group combined.
Many Asian nations have been steadily improving their ranking over the last five years. This list includes China, India, Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam. Four of the top five innovation clusters are in Asia, based on patents and publishing. San Francisco is the only innovation cluster outside Asia among the top five.
Tokyo is at the top, and two of the top five clusters are in China. “China’s rise has been dramatic in the last six years,” says Soumitra Dutta, professor at the Cornell Johnson School of Business, and a founder of the GII. “A lot of conversations about China were anecdotal, but now its performance is showing up in the data.”
Many of India’s innovations are not easily captured in indicators. Bengaluru, for example, ranks at 65 among the top clusters in the world. Since the city’s innovation is based on software, it does not show up in patents and publishing. “We have to evolve indicators which capture non-technological but game-changing innovations common in India,” says RA Mashelkar, former director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and a member of the GII international advisory board.
You can reach Hari Pulakkat at indiatimes