Global Innovation Index (GII) powered by Orbis Indicators

Monday, November 1, 2021

By Santhosh Metri, Director of Product Strategy - Intellectual Property and M&A Solutions, Bureau van Dijk. Originally published on Photo by Precondo CA on Unsplash.


The 14th edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII) published by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) tracks over 130 economies across the globe to identify the investments into R&D, and in turn the impact of innovation through detailed and robust metrics. This will enable firms to identify and benchmark innovation performance, as well as the associated economic impact of innovation.


The Orbis entity datasets contributed to the computation of some of the 80+ indicators used in ranking the economies based on the innovation measure. And a few of the key Orbis variables used in the analysis for the GII rankings include the R&D expenditure data, using the global standard format for firm level financial statements.


The report provides investment insights based on innovation trends using trend analysis. The newly launched innovation tracker in the 2021 publication focusses specifically on Science and Technology Investments, Technological Progress and Socioeconomic Impact. Such insights and trends are relevant for businesses, government, investors, and academics.


The global innovation landscape is seeing a slow change, and the GII rankings are dominated by North American and European countries. Key observations from this year’s report include:

  • Switzerland, Sweden, United States of America and United Kingdom have retained the top four positions respectively
  • The Republic of Korea has seen an acceleration in innovation activity and associated investments upgraded their ranking from 10th in 2020 to 5th in 2021
  • Japan having slipped from the top 15 in 2019, has now regained its spot on the top 15 league
  • The innovation tracker for trend analysis indicates a positive correlation with significant increase both on short-term (2019-20) and long-term (2009-2019) analysis for Technology Progress whereas a slow positive increase for Science and Technology Investments and Socioeconomic Impact.

What determines the rankings?

The GII ranking is based on the following seven pillars split into the following Innovation Input and Output Indexes. The economies are then scored based on the overall aggregated associated scores on each of them.

Innovation Inputs:

  • Institutions
  • Human and Capital Research
  • Infrastructure
  • Market Sophistication
  • Business Sophistication

Innovation Outputs:

  • Knowledge and Technology Outputs
  • Creative Outputs

What Orbis data was used and how?

Bureau van Dijk’s unique global entity database Orbis allows WIPO to amass granular, diverse data in a standardized format for the development of the Global Innovation Index.


Orbis financial and industry level datasets contributed to some of the key analysis undertaken, as well as to derive a few of the 80+ indicators that are essential in the analysis and GII ranking of economies. The financial analysis of the innovation investments is a result of R&D investments as part of the Orbis Global Standard Format financial dataset. In view of the long-term impact analysis and benchmarking – historical datasets and financials of up to 10 years were utilized.


Figure 1: Orbis dataset used to derive yoy trend data to show innovation activity Source: WIPO Global Innovation Index 2021


Alongside the core Orbis data, the GII contains some of R&D research data produced exclusively for the Joint Research Centre (JRC), part of the European Commission's science and knowledge service. With more than 2,500 public companies included, it is the most comprehensive global R&D study that uses JRC methodology.


The GII Index clearly indicates that innovation activity alongside R&D investments are increasing despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses are continuing to invest in R&D, and we are also seeing an output of the investment in the form of scientific publications, IP filings and investments through venture capital deals. All of these have accelerated throughout 2020-21. Furthermore, the reliance on economic rankings and innovation outcomes is going to increase exponentially in the coming months post the COVID-19 recovery for business evaluation, investment and risk analysis for businesses, policy makers alongside investors.


Find out more about how our Orbis and Orbis Intellectual Property solutions facilitate this form of complex entity data analysis.


You can also read the full report on the index, published by WIPO.

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