Standing strong: Switzerland remains the world’s most innovative country

Ever since 2011, the UN has named Switzerland the most innovative country in the world – and has done so again in its latest edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII). Switzerland outperforms other countries with its first-rate patent and intellectual property rules and claims a top spot for research collaboration between industry and universities.

 woman preparing machine in lab
With its solid and high-quality output performance, Switzerland remains the most innovative economy in the world.

The 2018 Global Innovation Index (GII) has once again given its top slot to Switzerland in its annual ranking of the world’s most innovative nations. Switzerland has ranked first in the GII every year since 2011.

The annual ranking is put together in cooperation by Cornell University, INSEAD and the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The GII analyses 126 economies based on 80 indicators such as expenditure on education and R&D, access to credit, output per worker, technical manufacturing, quality of scientific publications and universities, political stability and foreign direct investment.

High return on investments: Swiss innovation is of top quality

How does a country remain top of the list for eight years in a row? According to the GII 2018, the key factors to Switzerland’s innovativeness and consistent success are its first-rate patent and intellectual property rules, high-tech manufacturing, excellent universities, and its high investments in R&D.

The Alpine country has earned its top position because of the way it translates innovation investments into results - a key factor for coming out on top of the list. Although it is a very small country, Switzerland stands out in terms of inventions per capita and succeeds in offering consistently high-quality innovation, even outperforming Japan in this sub index. Furthermore, Switzerland is among global leaders in R&D spending and quality of its local universities.

Factsheet: Innovation in Switzerland

European countries remain strong

Eleven of the top twenty most innovative countries are European. The biggest upward mobility is seen by China, gaining five positions since last year’s ranking. Despite being the home of high-tech companies such as Apple and Google, the USA has suffered a small setback, landing on 6th position, thus losing two slots compared to last year.

  1. Switzerland
  2. Netherlands
  3. Sweden
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Singapore
  6. USA
  7. Finland
  8. Denmark
  9. Germany
  10. Ireland
  11. Israel
  12. Korea
  13. Japan
  14. Hong Kong
  15. Luxembourg
  16. France
  17. China
  18. Canada
  19. Norway
  20. Australia

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