Global Innovation Index 2016: Winning with global innovation

Author:Catherine Jewell - Sacha Wunsch-Vincent,
Position:Communications Division, WIPO - Economics and Statistics Division, WIPO

Global innovation is a win-win proposition – everyone stands to gain from it. That is the message of the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2016, the latest edition of the annual innovation study that WIPO produces in collaboration with Cornell University and INSEAD.


Focusing on the theme of “Winning with Global Innovation”, the GII 2016 calls on governments to support consistent investment in innovation and research. The GII 2016 findings suggest that a new corporate innovation culture built around novel partnerships and innovation platforms has significant potential to drive long-term economic growth.

An authoritative annual reference

The GII 2016 benchmarks the innovation performance of 128 economies representing 92.8 percent of the world’s population and 97.9 percent of global GDP (in current US dollars). The individual performance of each country is evaluated against a broad range of qualitative and quantitative indicators to measure both innovation inputs – what countries are doing to strengthen their innovation ecosystems – and innovation outputs – their performance and results. These metrics are reviewed and updated every year to provide the best and most current assessment of global innovation.

While the GII ranks the innovation performance of the countries surveyed, its overriding aim is to generate insights, identify good practices and provide practical support to policymakers and business executives in their efforts to improve innovation performance. Now in its ninth edition, it has become a leading reference on global innovation.

This year’s GII highlights the mutual benefits of increased international cooperation for innovation. Global innovation is often seen as a zero-sum proposition, with imports of technology or technology-intensive services perceived as a cost. The GII shows, by contrast, that international investment in innovation has huge scope to complement national systems and drive long-term economic growth.

“Investing in innovation is critical to raising long-term economic growth,” explains WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “In the current economic climate, uncovering new sources of growth and leveraging the opportunities raised by global innovation are a priority for all stakeholders.”

Innovation is more global but gaps remain

The GII 2016 reveals a multipolar world of research and innovation, albeit one where most innovation is still concentrated in high-income and selected middle-income economies.

The top ten country rankings remain largely unchanged from 2015, with Switzerland maintaining first place for the sixth year running. Germany is the only new entry, as Luxembourg, ranked ninth last year, drops to number 12.

But for the first time, a middle-income country, China (ranked 25)...

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