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Switzerland still the most innovative economy in the world

For the twelfth time in a row, Switzerland is the most innovative economy in the world. This is according to the Global Innovation Index, which lists the country’s greatest strengths as its economic policy and patents. Its biggest weakness is the flow of direct foreign investments.

Pictured is a team at Nestlé's R+D Accelerator in Switzerland. Image credit: Nestlé
Pictured is a team at Nestlé's R+D Accelerator in Switzerland. Image credit: Nestlé

Switzerland is the most innovative economy in the world again in 2022. This is the result of the Global Innovation Index (GII) published on September 29, which is created every year by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) based in Geneva. This is the 15th year it has been released, with the USA in second place followed by Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. Germany gained two places versus last year to reach eighth place.

The index measures innovation using criteria such as institutes, human capital and research, infrastructure, investments, adaptation and dissemination of knowledge, and creative performance. According to the country report for Switzerland, its GDP performance is above expectations. The balance is positive with regard to the conversion of innovation investments into innovation output as well.

From Switzerland, the report’s list of innovative top performers names Roche in eighth place, Novartis in 18th, and Nestlé in 96th. These companies are also the top three in the intangible asset intensity category. Furthermore, the top three companies by global market value come from Switzerland: Nestlé, UBS, and Roche.

Switzerland’s strongest criteria, i.e. those for which it stands in first to third place, include its economic conditions, number of patents and patent families, expenditure on software, entertainment and media market, high-tech manufacturing, and the complexity of production and exports. Switzerland’s biggest weaknesses comprise the criteria of direct foreign investments (131st place), high-tech imports (109th), and diversification of the domestic industry (69th).

According to a press release, one of the main findings of the most recent GII is that while investments have “surged” over the past few years, there is “continued underperformance in innovation-driven productivity”. WIPO Director General Daren Tang stated: “This is why we need to pay more attention to not just investing in innovation, but how it translates into economic and social impact. Quality and value will become as critical to success as quantity and scale.”

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