Global Innovation Index Unveiled by Johnson’s New Dean

Soumitra Dutta launches the annual measure of countries’ innovation capabilities at headquarters of the World Intellectual Property Organization

Global Innovation Index Unveiled by Johnson’s New Dean

Soumitra Dutta, the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean and professor of management at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University on July 3, 2012, launched the latest Global Innovation Index (GII). Dutta founded the index, which ranks 141 countries and economies on the basis of their innovation capabilities and results. The report is published by the World Intellectual Property Organization and INSEAD, the France-based business school, where Dutta taught, prior to assuming the deanship at Johnson.

The Global Innovation Index (GII) project was launched by INSEAD in 2007, with the goal of determining how to find metrics and approaches to better capture the richness of innovation in society and go beyond traditional measures of innovation, such as the number of research articles and the level of research and development (R&D) expenditures.

“Today innovation is happening in many different spaces—in marketing models, in business models, in pricing models, and even in societal models. That brings us the challenge of measuring innovation as a broader phenomenon,” Dutta said. “We are trying to capture some of this broad based view of innovation in the Global Innovation Index.”

The GII captures two elements of innovation in economies—inputs and outputs. “We are trying to measure both innovation capacity, the capability of an economy to innovate, and also the actual innovation performance that exists for an economy,” Dutta said. “We fully realize that there might be investments made in innovation capability today that might take some time to show up in actual innovation performance.”

For the second consecutive year, Switzerland, Sweden, and Singapore lead in overall innovation performance, according to the GII. The list of top-10 innovators has changed little in the last year, with the U.S. ranked #10, and Canada falling out of the top 10. Yet the dynamics of innovation continue to affect the emergence of new successful innovators, including good performances of emerging countries such as Latvia, Malaysia, China, Montenegro, Serbia, Republic of Moldova, Jordan, Ukraine, India, Mongolia, Armenia, Georgia, Namibia, Viet Nam, Swaziland, Paraguay, Ghana, Senegal; and low-income countries Kenya and Zimbabwe.

The report particularly notes a need for the BRIC countries (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, and China) to invest further in their innovation capabilities to live up to their expected potential. China’s performance on the key knowledge and technology outputs pillar of the index is outpaced only by Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, and Finland. However, the report notes that both China and India have weaknesses in their innovation infrastructure and environment.

Additional information on the Global Innovation Index, including rankings, data analysis, and the full report, are available online. You may also watch Dean Dutta’s presentation at the launch of the 2012 report, as well as read the official press release.

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