The Netherlands takes 2nd place in 2018 Global Innovation Index

The Netherlands takes 2nd place in 2018 Global Innovation Index

The Netherlands has moved up to second place on this year’s Global Innovation Index (GII), by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization. The GII ranks the innovation performance of almost 130 economies from around the world.

Global Innovation Index

This year marks the 11th edition of the GII, which reviews 126 economies. The theme of the 2018 edition is “Energizing the World with Innovation”. This edition looks at the energy innovation landscape of the coming decade and possible breakthroughs that could be made in the areas of consumption, distribution, storage and energy production.

To assess countries, the GII uses 80 indicators that then fall under seven pillars. The average score of the first five pillars equals the Input Sub-Index and the average score of the last two pillars makes up the Output Sub-Index. Each pillar has three sub-pillars with a varying number of indicators. The pillars are as follows:

  • Institutions
  • Human capital and research
  • Infrastructure
  • Market sophistication
  • Business sophistication
  • Knowledge and technology outputs
  • Creative outputs

The GII also reports on a country’s strengths and weaknesses. Strengths are those with a percent rank greater than the 10th largest percent rank among the 80 indicators in that particular economy. Weaknesses are percent ranks lower than the 10th smallest percent rank. As the strengths and weaknesses of a country are solely determined on that country’s data, the same value may be considered a strength for one country and a weakness for another.

The Netherlands in the top

The Netherlands has climbed one place this year, surpassing Sweden, to make it to the second spot on the GII.

Dutch strengths

In particular, the Netherlands scores highly when it comes to business sophistication, ranking first place for this pillar. Other areas in which the country does well are knowledge and technology outputs and creative outputs, ranking in second and third place for these pillars respectively.

In addition to the three highly ranked pillars, strengths are exhibited on the logistics performance indicator and the sub-pillars of information and communication technologies and business environment. The Netherlands also displays strengths relative to the top 25 GII economies in the sub-pillars of education, knowledge absorption, online creativity and knowledge diffusion, as well as on several other indicators.

Dutch weaknesses

In terms of weaknesses, in the Netherlands’ case, they don’t tend to appear on sub-pillars, but rather reserve themselves for certain indicators, such as ease of getting credit and cost of redundancy dismissal, salary weeks. The exception to this is the sub-pillar of tertiary education, which is deemed a weakness.

Top 10 innovative countries

The number one country this year was Switzerland, which also took first place in 2017. The Netherlands came in second and was followed by Sweden, which dropped a place this year. In fourth place was the United Kingdom, climbing a place this year, and in fifth place, Singapore, moving up two places. The top 10 countries are as follows.

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

For more information, please see the Global Innovation Index website.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

Read more



Leave a comment