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Swiss tops global innovation ranking again

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Switzerland has been top of the index for over a decade. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Switzerland is the most innovative country in the world, ahead of the US and Sweden, said the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on Thursday.

It’s the 12th year in a row that Switzerland has topped WIPO’s Global Innovation IndexExternal link, which is based on dozens of indicators in over 130 countries. The report examines areas such as patents, advanced technology and the complexity of production and exports.

According to the Keystone-SDA news agency, a WIPO official said the combination of strong research, the ability to finance innovation and the rapid application of private sector technology in economic markets were factors of the Swiss success.

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And while the report showed that countries’ performance in the ranking was somewhat related to the level of their wealth, rich Switzerland was disproportionally more innovative than its high GDP would suggest.

The UK was fourth in the ranking, ahead of the Netherlands.

Political tensions

The top positions in the index were still largely occupied by developed western nations. However, the Geneva-based WIPO said it expected changes in the next five to ten years, when the most innovative countries will become “more diverse”, according to WIPO Director General Daren Tang.

Tang also told journalists that despite the pandemic, investment in innovation around the world continued to rise last year. For this year however, the situation is “overshadowed” by global uncertainties and “political tensions which affect innovation”. But Tang said that some crises, of food and energy for example, could yet lead to an increase in the need for countries to boost innovation to guarantee their security. Investments in renewable energy and climate change technologies could also expand.

Less progress on e-government

A separate United Nations survey published on Thursday showed that Switzerland was lagging further behind when it comes to the digitalisation of public administration and services. Switzerland came 23rd in the “e-government survey 2022External link”, seven spots lower than two years ago. The report looks at the quality and availability – i.e. the inequality of access to – digital public services across all UN members states. Denmark, Finland, and South Korea topped the list.

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