People pass the skyline of the central business district of Singapore August 8, 2016. Photo: Reuters / Edgar Su
People pass the skyline of the central business district of Singapore August 8, 2016. Photo: Reuters / Edgar Su

Singapore is ranked seventh on the Global Innovation Index 2017, making it the top place in Asia for innovation. South Korea follows closely as Asia’s runner-up, in 11th place overall, as measured by the annual UN survey.

The Global Innovation Index is produced jointly by the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and French business school INSEAD. It provides detailed metrics on the innovation performance of 127 countries and economies worldwide.

The survey looks at a total of 81 indicators, including political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication. This year’s report also reviews the state of innovation in agriculture and food system.

Singapore came out top in indicators such as innovation inputs, innovation outputs, political environment and tertiary education.

“With Singapore’s increased emphasis on IP commercialization, the country is confident that more local and foreign enterprises will use Singapore as a place for taking their ideas to regional markets and beyond, in turn creating value for our economy and society,” said Daren Tang, Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, in response to the rankings.

Developing countries and emerging economies rose on the list.

China rose three places to 22nd in the rankings, making it the only-middle income country to enter the top 25 this year.

It performed well in areas such as business sophistication and high-tech exports, but was dragged behind in areas including tertiary education, regulatory environment and protection of minority investors, the report shows.

India, meanwhile, improved six places to 60th. Soumita Dutta, the dean of Cornell Business School told the World Economic Forum in an interview that India has been successful at creating competition for investment and spurring innovation. However, it was let down due to low performance scores in bureaucracy and infrastructure.

Top 10 countries on the list this year are Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Singapore, Finland, Germany and Ireland.

Switzerland was ranked as the most innovative country for the seventh consecutive year.

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