In its latest Global Innovation Index, the World Intellectual Property Organization placed Canada in 15th place in a list of 25 countries considered the most innovative economies. The report was released as a joint effort between WIPO, Cornell University, INSEAD, and 2016 GII Knowledge Partners (Confederation of Indian Industry, du and A.T. Kearney).
“Investing in innovation is critical to raising long-term economic growth,” said WIPO director general Francis Gurry. “In this current economic climate, uncovering new sources of growth and leveraging the opportunities raised by global innovation are priorities for all stakeholders.”
Just like 2015, Switzerland took the number one spot, while Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Finland followed in succession. Canada moved up to 15th place from 16th last year.
Canada was particularly noted for its top scores in its regulatory environment, the ease of starting a business, the sophistication of its financial market (including venture capital), and the quality of its universities and scientific publications. In the past, Canada rankings in the GII declined due to weak performance in education and R&D expenditures, information and communication technology (ICT) services, energy efficiency, and a lack of economy-wide investment and productivity figures.
The theme for this year’s report was “Winning with Global Innovation”, and looks at increasing innovations developed thanks to cross-border flows of knowledge and talent. According to WIPO, innovation policies should favour international collaboration.
“Some may see globalization as a trend in search of its ‘second breath’,” said Bruno Lanvin, INSEAD Executive Director for Global Indices, and co-author of the report. “Yet, the relative contraction of international trade and investment flows does give even more strategic importance to the two sides of global innovation: on one hand, more emerging countries are becoming successful innovators, and on the other hand, an increasing share of innovation benefits stem from cross-border co-operation.”