|Silicon Valley beat previous winners Boston, New York and Vienna to become the world’s most innovative city in 2014, in the 8th annual Innovation Cities Index released by global innovation agency, 2thinknow. |
Switzerland, the United Kingdom (UK) and Sweden
topped this year’s Global Innovation Index, while Sub-Saharan Africa posted a
significant regional improvement in the annual rankings published by Cornell
University, INSEAD, the French business school, and the World Intellectual
Amid a newly documented slowdown in the growth of global research and
development, the theme of the
Global Innovation Index (GII) 2014 is “The Human Factor in Innovation,”
exploring the role of human capital in the innovation process and underlining
the growing interest that firms and governments have shown in identifying and
energizing creative individuals and teams.
The GII 2014 surveys 143 economies around the world, using 81 indicators–to
gauge both their innovation capabilities and measurable results. Published
annually since 2007, the GII is now a leading benchmarking tool for business
executives, policy makers and others seeking insight into the state of
innovation around the world. This year’s study is also said to benefit from the
experience of its Knowledge Partners: the Confederation of Indian Industry, du
and Huawei, as well as of an advisory board of 14 international experts.
In terms of innovation quality - - as measured by university performance, the
reach of scholarly articles and the international dimension of patent
applications - - the United States of America holds the top place within the
high-income group, followed by Japan, Germany and Switzerland. Top-scoring
middle-income economies are narrowing the gap on innovation quality with China
in the lead, followed by Brazil and India.
There are anomalies where
Ireland with foreign-owned companies accounting for almost three quarters of R&D
spending but do little research that merits patenting, at an 11th ranking ahead
of Germany, Japan, South Korea and Israel.
In addition there are companies such
as Accenture, the US consultancy, being classified as "Irish" for tax purposes
along with several other faux-Irish big R&D spenders - - their US R&D
spend is classified as Irish.
Computer services exports are boosted by tax
avoidance strategies and only half of ICT (information, communications and
technology) staff are tech professionals.
The reports says for 2013 and 2014, unofficial estimates
point to a further slowdown in global R&D spending growth.
The main drivers of this slowdown in growth are the declining support of
public R&D caused by fiscal consolidation and the end of stimulus packages
coupled with the hesitant growth of company R&D expenditures.
While the majority of countries for
which data are available continue to show
positive R&D expenditure growth in 2013
and 2014. Yet strong R&D spending growth
in 2013 and 2014 is expected to take place
mostly in Asia, in particular in China, the
Republic of Korea, and India. Anticipated
R&D spending growth in absolute terms
or as a share of GDP in top R&D spending
high-income countries such as the USA and
Japan, as well as the UK and other European
economies, is expected to be flat or much or
much reduced when compared with 2011
or 2012, the latter of which had often already
seen slower growth.
In sum, business and total R&D spending are both now significantly above
pre-crisis levels in some economies; in others they
are below those levels, and some economies
have been unaffected. A large number of Eastern
European countries, other large European
economies such as France and Germany,
some high-income Asian economies such
as South Korea, and emerging
economies such as China and the Russian
Federation have experienced no aggregate
fall in their R&D spending as a result of the
crisis. Some economies have seen important
dips in R&D spending during the crisis but
also experienced an important recovery
(e.g., Estonia and the Netherlands); some
(e.g., Israel) have seen a more timid recovery. The USA and Singapore, for
have recently returned to their pre-crisis
levels for combined public and private R&D.
And some high-income economies, such as Spain, Finland, and Portugal, as well
as the UK and Japan, continue to exhibit R&D spending below their pre-crisis
Top Ten 2014 ranking
Switzerland (Number 1 in 2013)
United States of America (5)
United Kingdom (3)
Hong Kong (China) (7)