SINGAPORE – The Republic retained its ranking of the eighth most innovative economy in the world for the third consecutive year. But in the region, it lost its top spot to South Korea, who this time perhaps had a K-pop and K-drama advantage.
In the Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania region, Singapore has slipped to second place this year behind South Korea in first place. The East Asian country was second in the region last year.
This is according to the Global Innovation Index 2021 ranking of around 130 economies published on Monday, September 20 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (Wipo). Wipo is one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations.
Globally, this is the first time South Korea has been in the top five, said Wipo, placing 5th. Last year, she was ranked 10th in the world.
On the spectacular rise of South Korea, the intellectual property organization said that the country “has significantly increased its performance in innovation and, in particular, brand indicators (pending), the global brand value and exports of cultural and creative services “.
Wipo chief executive Daren Tang suggested the boom in the creative economy may be due to the country’s K-pop and K-drama scene.
The organization added that South Korea has benefited from substantial improvements in an area it is known for with its companies like Samsung – technological knowledge and outputs.
The Global Innovation Index is compiled on the basis of two broad areas, namely innovation inputs and outputs.
Innovation inputs are factors in an economy that enable innovative activities. They include the efficiency of government of an economy, access to infocom technology and intellectual property payments.
Innovation outputs refer to the actual results of innovative activities in an economy. They include knowledge and technological products such as high-tech exports, as well as creative products such as the quantity of creative goods exported.
South Korea improved its entry rank by one this year to No. 9 in the world, while its exit rank jumped five places to No. 5, according to Wipo.
As for Singapore, the country retained its position as the world No. 1 in inputs this year. His exit rank also improved by two to reach No.13.
Wipo added that the Republic has consistently been among the top 10 most innovative economies over the past 14 years.
After South Korea and Singapore, the other five innovation leaders in the region – excluding Central, Western and South Asia – are China at No. 3, Japan at No. 4 and Hong Kong at No. 5 .
Globally, China is closing in on the top 10, ranking 12th this year, up two places. It is the only middle-income economy in the top 30.
The Wipo said that China has made progress over the past few decades and that its improvement this year relies mainly on innovation inputs.
He said that “few countries have made such significant and steady progress” as China in creating a better environment for innovation. The country has also made progress in its university-industry research collaboration.
As for the results of innovation, China has significantly increased in the area of ââknowledge and technology.
The world’s top four economies this year and last year are the same, with Switzerland ranking first. The others, in descending order, are Sweden, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Wipo’s Tang said that this year’s innovation index shows that despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on lives and livelihoods, “many sectors have demonstrated ‘remarkable resilience – especially those who have embraced digitization, technology and innovation.
The organization said that, interestingly, countries like Australia, the United States, Germany and Japan increased their spending on research and development last year despite the pandemic. Likewise, in the private sector, research and development spending increased by about 10 percent on average among companies last year.
“As the world seeks to rebuild itself after the pandemic, we know that innovation is essential to overcome the common challenges we face and to build a better future,” said Mr. Tang, the first Singaporean to lead a United Nations agency.