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The Armar-6 humanoid robot, developed by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, hands a bottle of cleaning fluid to an employee during a warehouse assistant demonstration at the CeBIT 2018 tech fair in Hanover, Germany, on Monday, June 11, 2018. CeBIT, Europe's business festival for innovation and digitization, runs June 11 - 15. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg


(Bloomberg) -- Among the world’s top innovating economies, quite a few aren’t getting enough bang for their buck.

That’s the lesson from the latest annual Global Innovation Index release, which measures the most innovative economies and then, separately, calculates an “Innovation Efficiency Ratio.”

Among the top-10 innovators, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands were the only countries that also ranked in the top-10 for innovation efficiency. The contrast is especially stark for Singapore, which came in at 5 for innovation but 63 for efficiency. On the other hand, Luxembourg is enjoying far more output relative to its input, at No. 2 for efficiency, but No. 15 innovation.

Published annually by Cornell University, INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organization, the report tallies scores among 126 economies. The efficiency measure is calculated by dividing an economy’s “outputs,” such as patent applications and increases in labor productivity, by “inputs” that include research and development spending and financial market openness. The broader gauge averages input and output scores.

While most economies have a linear relationship between input and output, China “strongly over-performs,” according to the report. China also stood out as the only economy in the top-30 innovators, at No. 17, that isn’t classified as high-income by the World Bank.

Other economies can celebrate rankings that at least show they’re punching above their weight. South Africa, Tunisia and Colombia were “innovation achievers” for the first time this year, having performed at least 10 percent above peers in their income group. Vietnam, India, Rwanda, Thailand and Bulgaria were among those that repeated in the report’s group of 20 “achievers.”

These out-performing countries have more structured institutional frameworks and “foster a higher integration with international markets,” according to the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Abigail Wen Yi Ng in Singapore at ang329@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at anandk@bloomberg.net, Michelle Jamrisko, Brett Miller

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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