According to the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2012 report (464 pgs.) by INSEAD, the key to sustainable growth and future prosperity depends on creation of innovative technology ecosystems country by country and linking them together to spur maximum growth. The rate of innovation will depend on information sharing, open innovation models and growing knowledge markets. The GII report says “we are all content creators now” in the digital economy and the Internet is an unprecedented and unparalleled platform for promoting innovation. While countries will continue to try to “out innovate” each other, international collaboration across countries will be essential for national programs to increase the pace of growth.
R&D by Numbers
INSEAD has been measuring the health of global innovation since 2007 and each year the GII is refined and factors and variables used in the report are weighed, evaluated and changed. Traditional measures of innovation, such as the number of research articles and the level of research and development expenditures, are giving way to new metrics and approaches that foster innovation.
Global R&D Patterns: Spending Between Regions
The following chart shows global national R&D budgets but INSEAD suggests budgets alone will not promote global growth; new ways of operating and interacting will. An important factor in growth will be spending between regions. General Electric’s Ideas Lab, a forum on emerging ideas, publishes an annual “Global Innovation Barometer” and the 2013 edition tells the tale of how the increasingly complex global economy is requiring top business management to be continuously focused on integrating into countries and regions to best benefit from symbioses.
Characteristics of the Most Innovative Countries
The 2012 GII explores the conditions in which innovation flourishes and provides examples of countries that are most successful in fostering progress; in future articles we will look at examples. Each country is an “experimental lab” for promoting innovation; the most innovative countries can provide models to be emulated by less innovative countries.
Although the United States shows up as #10 in this report, it’s relative size suggests its general approach should be emulated by larger countries: the United States is spotlighted in the report for its universities, research institutions, innovative clusters and its world-class businesses.