Unpacking the index

Monday, November 25, 2019

The 2019 edition of the Global Innovation Index offers decision-makers a rich database of metrics and an assessment of the state of global innovation, helping to refine innovation policies.


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.


Now in its twelfth year, the Global Innovation Index (GII) was launched in 2007 amid a growing awareness that innovation drives economic progress. Its metrics continue to surpass traditional measures of innovation like R&D, by also recording social, business and technical innovation, and unearthing inspiring stories from emerging markets.


This year, the GII includes 129 countries, representing 91.8% of the world’s population. Its metrics are divided into “Innovation Inputs” and “Innovation Outputs” for each nation, with Inputs being national qualities that create an environment conducive to innovation.


Five types of Input are measured: Institutions (how politically stable a nation is, and the quality of its regulatory and business environments); Human capital and research (investment in education and R&D); Infrastructure (ICT, general infrastructure and sustainability); Market sophistication (credit, investment and trade, competition and market scale); and Business sophistication (knowledge absorption, knowledge workers and innovation linkages).

Two types of Output are defined and measured. The first is Knowledge and technology, which looks at the creation of new knowledge, its impact and its diffusion. Metrics include patent applications and papers published, increases in labor productivity, the extent of ISO 9001 certification, and high-tech exports.


The role of creativity in innovation is still underappreciated – something the GII is seeking to change. Its second Output type, Creative, measures creative goods and services, online creativity and intangible assets. Intangible assets include trademark applications, industrial designs, and the use of ICT in business. Online creativity metrics include top-level domains, Wikipedia edits and mobile app creation.


To give a sense of the international reach of creative activities within any one economy, Creative goods and services are measured by global entertainment and media outputs, creative services exports, advertising, and the number of national feature films produced every year.


The GII gives Inputs and Outputs the same weighting, which allows comparisons to be made between the two, revealing which nations get the best and worst returns from their inputs. A country’s overall score and rank in the GII is calculated as an average of its Input and Output figures.


With a dedicated page for every nation, the GII shows at a glance each country’s performance in all measurables, offering fascinating – and sometimes surprising – insights into the current state of global innovation.


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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