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Singapore’s well-linked innovation ecosystem, strong innovation infrastructure and investments in human capital have helped the country earn a solid reputation as being an innovative economy.
According to the Global Innovation Index (GII), co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Singapore topped the regional rankings to emerge as the leading innovative economy in Asia.
The island city also achieved 7th place among the 143 economies surveyed worldwide, up one position from 2013.
According to the report, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Sweden made up the top three innovative countries in the world, respectively. Hong Kong and Korea followed Singapore to emerge as the second and third most innovative countries in Asia, respectively.
The rankings were calculated as the average of two sub-indices – the innovation input sub-index and the innovation output sub-index – and were judged via 81 indicators in total.
The innovation input sub-index gauged elements of the national economy which embody innovative activities grouped in five pillars: institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication, and business sophistication.
The innovation output sub-index captured actual evidence of innovation results, divided in two pillars: knowledge and technology outputs and creative outputs.
“Singapore shows strength across the board in the input sub-index, where it takes 1st place,” the report stated. “In particular, the top 25 countries in the GII consistently score high in most indicators and have strengths in areas such as innovation infrastructure, including information and communication technologies; business sophistication such as knowledge workers, innovation linkages, and knowledge absorption; and innovation outputs such as creative goods and services and online creativity.”
However, the report highlighted that Singapore performed less well in government expenditure on education (111th), communications, computer and information services exports (96th), domestic resident trademark applications (82nd), and printing and publishing output (73rd).
The country also ranked poorly in the output sub-index (25th), a result of its 13th place in knowledge and technology outputs and 33rd place in creative outputs.