Netherlands in fourth position in Global Innovation Index 2013

The Global Innovation Index 2013 (GII) has ranked the Netherlands in fourth place in its annual list of the most innovative countries, up two spots from last year.

Switzerland retained its top place, with Sweden second and the United Kingdom moving up to the third spot.

These improvements are happening despite the economic crisis: according to the report, research and development spending is surpassing 2008 levels in most countries and successful local hubs are thriving.

"Dynamic innovation hubs are multiplying around the world despite the difficult state of the global economy," said World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director-General Francis Gurry. "These hubs leverage local advantages with a global outlook on markets and talent."

Worldwide trends

The GII 2013, published by Cornell University, business school INSEAD and the WIPO, ranks 142 economies around the world using 84 indicators, including the quality of top universities, availability of microfinance and venture capital deals, gauging both innovation capabilities and measurable results.

The top 25 ranked countries are a mix of nations from North America, Europe, Asia, Oceania and the Middle East. On average, high-income countries outpace developing countries by a wide margin across the board in terms of scores, highlighting a persistent innovation divide.

There are examples of innovation success in some of the poorest countries, however, which the report notes as a source of optimism about the future of global innovation and economic recovery.

"Business, government and civil society all offer new solutions and fresh ways of collaborating to spur innovation at local, national and even global levels," said Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director of INSEAD’s European Competitiveness Initiative. "In fact, innovation is rapidly becoming a rallying symbol for forces of progress and reform around the world."

The Netherlands improves

The report notes that the Netherlands’ fourth spot in the rankings (up from sixth in 2012 and ninth in 2011) reflects a clear relative advantage again on outputs, where it is ranked second.

In comparison, it holds the 10th position in inputs, coming in at 26th place in innovation efficiency (second after Switzerland among the GII Top 10).

The country achieves high positions on all pillars, most of the sub-pillars and the majority of indicators with data, including first place in royalty and license fees payments and receipts, online e-participation and intensity of local competition. Its major weakness again this year is in tertiary education (61st, up from 66th in 2012).

Top 10 2013 rankings

1. Switzerland (Number 1 in 2012)
2. Sweden (2)
3. United Kingdom (5)
4. The Netherlands (6)
5. United States of America (10)
6. Finland (4)
7. Hong Kong (8)
8. Singapore (3)
9. Denmark (7)
10. Ireland (9)

Source: press release released by WIPO, Cornell University, INSEAD

Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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