Innovating our way to a better life

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The annual Global Innovation Index (GII) has released its 2018 report, leaving many wondering what the new leading concept or product is for this year. The index is released as a joint collaboration between leaders of the creative market, the University of Cornell College of Business, INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) all involved in the outcome.

In the digital age, a lack of connectivity means that you are not a player in the game.

Francis Gurry, director general, World Intellectual Property Organization

The index provides in-depth innovation metrics for 126 economies around the world, comprising 90.8 percent of the world’s population. According to the index, Switzerland has topped the list of innovating countries for the year – a position the country has retained since 2011. It is closely followed by the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, all of which are ranked as high-income countries, as are the rest of the top ten.

Another notable ranking is China, at number 17, making a speedy incline up the top 25 spots and, according to the GII, proving that middle-income economies can also make an impact in innovation. 

Francis Gurry, director general of WIPO, says these rankings reflect an economy’s competitiveness and potential for technology and innovation. 

“Innovation affects quality of life, material life, in a wide quality of manners,” says Gurry, but also emphasises how the opposite is also true when lack of resources proves a hindrance to innovation. “Lack of connectivity is a major obstacle and is something we all need to pay attention to. It is a bit like saying you have no industrial capacity in the industrial age. In the digital age, a lack of connectivity means that you are not a player in the game.”  

Gurry continues to highlight why that resource imbalance is a lot more serious than may be initially anticipated, “I think it is a great danger… you could go a little broader than digital [lack of resources] and say technology in general. There is a lot of technology in the health area for example, which is not available in a widespread basis across the world… with the speed of technological development and the sort of resources required for a new technology and the development of new technologies, it is a big danger that we may have an exacerbation of the very considerable gaps that exist in economic and technological capacities throughout the world and thus, also the social benefits derived from having high performing economies and technological capacity.” 

Source: Al Jazeera

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