The Netherlands named the 7th most innovative country on Earth

The Netherlands named the 7th most innovative country on Earth

The Netherlands has been named the seventh most innovative country on Earth, according to a report released by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO). Eindhoven received a special mention in the report for the city’s association with science and technology innovation. 

Global Innovation Index 2023 by WIPO

The Global Innovation Index is put together by WIPO each year, to examine which countries in the world are coming up with state of the art technology, research and product design. Following global economic uncertainty unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and spiralling inflation, the 2023 report wanted to delve into how these factors impacted decisions to invest in research and development and if new technologies were still being developed despite the difficulties. 

The report states that “after a boom in 2021, investments in innovation showed a mixed performance in 2022”. According to the World Intellectual Property Office, indicators of technological progress in the fields of IT, health and energy continue to show progress, with some of the most innovative work being done in the fields of supercomputing, genome sequencing and renewable energy such as solar power.

The report is compiled using data from the Global Innovation Index database and a country’s economy profile over time, as well as analytical work on the ground looking at innovation actors and decision-makers to give an overall view of how an economy is performing in terms of innovation.

Netherlands ranked 7th in the world for innovation

The report ranked the Netherlands seventh worldwide in innovation. The country came in sixth place out of all “high-income” nations who outperformed in terms of expected innovation, just behind Finland, the UK, the US, Sweden and first-place overall winner Switzerland. 

While many of the winning countries were developed economies that outperformed expectations for innovation, there are many less well-off nations who also proved themselves to be more innovative than anticipated. These include Rwanda, Madagascar and Burundi in the low-income group; Morocco, Tunisia and India in the lower-middle income group, and Brazil, South Africa and China in the higher-middle income group, among others. 

2022 also saw a historic high in worldwide Research and Development (R&D) expenditure. Almost 1 trillion Swiss francs were spent on R&D by corporations throughout the year, which was a historic record for high R&D spending.

Top ten most innovative countries in the world for 2023

According to the index, the ten most innovative countries in the world for 2023 are:

  • 1. Switzerland
  • 2. Sweden
  • 3. United States
  • 4. United Kingdom
  • 5. Singapore
  • 6. Finland
  • 7. The Netherlands
  • 8. Germany 
  • 9. Denmark 
  • 10. Republic of Korea

The list also details the countries with the least innovation:

  • 132. Angola
  • 131. Niger
  • 130. Burundi
  • 129. Mali 
  • 128. Guinea
  • 127. Mauritania
  • 126. Mozambique 
  • 125. Ethiopia
  • 124. Burkina Faso
  • 123. Cameroon 
  • 122. Guatemala

For the full ranking, or more information on how the data was collected, visit the website of the World Intellectual Property Office.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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