By Anuradha Shukla
June 20, 2017
A group of Asian economies including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam are actively working to improve their innovation ecosystems, says a new report.
These nations rank high in several important indicators related to education, research and development (R&D), productivity growth, and high-tech exports, among others.
The Global Innovation Index 2017—co-authored by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)—indicates that Singapore is the top performer in most of the indicators within the Association of East Asian Nations (ASEAN) grouping.
The Republic of Korea maintains its top overall rankings in patenting and other IP-related indicators. It ranks second in human capital and research, with its business sector contributing significantly to R&D efforts.
"Innovation is the engine of economic growth in an increasingly knowledge-based global economy, but more investment is needed to help boost human creativity and economic output," said WIPO director general Francis Gurry. "Innovation can help transform the current economic upswing into longer-term growth."
Research and development
The report ranks Japan third in the region and places the nation in the top 10 global economies for research and development, information and communication technologies, trade, competition, market scale, knowledge absorption, creation, and diffusion.
China displays a strong performance in several indicators, including the presence of global R&D companies, research talent in business enterprise, patent applications and other IP-related variables.
Thailand's strengths include creative goods exports and gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) financed by business, where it places 5th and 6th in global ranking.
Vietnam shows the second best rank of the region in expenditure on education and has done well in labor productivity growth, economy-wide investment, and foreign direct investment net inflows.
India is ranked 60th globally, and is the top-ranked economy in Central and Southern Asia. The nation has shown improvement in most areas, including in infrastructure, business sophistication, knowledge and technology and creative outputs.
"Public policy plays a pivotal role in creating an enabling environment conducive to innovation. In the last two years, we have seen important activities around the GII in India like the formation of India's high-level Task Force on Innovation and consultative exercises on both innovation policy and better innovation metrics," said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, Confederation of Indian Industry.