For the first time since the ranking has been compiled, the US has fallen out of the top 10 in Bloomberg’s Innovation Index. South Korea and Sweden retained the top two spots, while Singapore jumped three places to No 3.
The ranking uses seven criteria, including research-and-development spending and concentration of high-tech public companies.
Education was cited as the main reason for the US falling to 11th place, with the share of new science and engineering graduates in the labor force weighing on the score. Value-added manufacturing also fell from the year before.
While the US slacked in the education department, it was one of the reasons that China jumped two places to rank 19th. The criterion was also a reason for Singapore’s climb.
America’s slide, following a lack of interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors among the country’s student population, does not show signs of letting up, according to some. And it is not just lagging with regard to education.
“I see no evidence to suggest that this trend will not continue,” Robert D Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington, DC, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying. “Other nations have responded with smart, well-funded innovation policies like better R&D tax incentives, more government funding for research, more funding for technology commercialization initiatives.”