This app helps measure innovation

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Global Innovation Index 2019 considers creativity a crtical ingredient for innovative economies and societies – and finds a way to measure it. This article is part of a series about the power of innovation to solve social and economic challenges. Stories and statistics are drawn from the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Global Innovation Index 2019 – your guide to world-changing ideas.


Creativity – the ability to think in new and fruitful ways – is hard to quantify. In comparison, measuring the inputs and outputs of R&D is straightforward. But as an important element of innovation, the 2019 Global Innovation Index has sought to measure creativity, leading to a collaboration with mobile data intelligence platform App Annie.


App Annie measures creativity

The race to conquer the global $120bn mobile app market has led to a huge burst of creativity, with virtually every aspect of our lives now catered to by apps. Their measurability makes apps a useful quantitative indicator of creativity. Tracking Google Play Store and iOS App Store activity around the world, App Annie records which apps are downloaded, and where. App Annie shares this data in the Global Innovation Index 2019, focusing on which nations produce the most successful apps, as measured by the number of downloads.


In absolute numbers, the U.S. is the uncontested leader in app creation, generating nearly 18 billion downloads worldwide. Its next closest competitor is France, at around 3 billion downloads. Then come India, the Republic of Korea, the U.K., the Russian Federation, Japan, Germany and Brazil. Complete data for China is not available, but it would occupy a top slot.


Markets with companies that perform well in the app world are also ones with strong enough economies to attract entrepreneurs. The U.S. is where many tech companies are located and where the world’s largest app stores began.


The U.S.’s major competitor is China, indicated by the fact that is ahead of the U.S. on the total consumer spend generated by apps. Chinese companies contributed 32% of total global consumer spend on apps, with the U.S. on 22%.

A different picture

However, when the GII scales the figures for GDP, things look quite different, with Cyprus, Finland, and Israel taking the top spots, followed by Lithuania and Estonia, Hong Kong (China) and Singapore. App Annie considers it possible that in these locations, high-quality apps are being created that successfully answer local needs first, before expanding to other markets.


The healing power of apps

This year, the World Intellectual Property Organization puts medical innovation under the microscope in its 2019 Global Innovation Index.


Huge creative activity in the field of mobile health has led to the enthusiastic take-up of health apps among consumers, whose spending on health and fitness apps tripled between 2016 and 2018. MyFitnessPal, Sweat with Kayla and FiNC are leading the growth.


In 2018, downloads of medical apps – which offer patients remote access to medical attention – grew by 35% in mature markets like the U.S., U.K. and France, and even more strongly in emerging markets like Brazil (35%), India (65%) and Indonesia (110%).


The GLOBAL INNOVATION INDEX 2019 is the result of a collaboration between Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as co-publishers, and their Knowledge Partners, Confederation of Indian Industry, Dassault Systèmes, SEBRAE, Brazilian Micro and Small Industry Support Services, and Brazilian Confederation of Industry.


Published under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0) licence. That means you can copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format for any purpose, even commercially, but you cannot change it in any way.

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