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Romania Performs Well on the Global Innovation Map in 2012. Europe Stands Out


Europe stands out in the 2012 Global Innovation Index (GII). 7 countries out of 10 are present in the top 10 of this year’s GII. Leaders in their respective regions in the GII are the same as in 2011: Switzerland in Europe (1st), Singapore in South East Asia and Oceania (3rd), the USA in Northern America (10th), Israel in Northern Africa and Western Asia (17th), Chile in Latin America and the Caribbean (39th), Mauritius in Sub-Saharan Africa (49th), and India in Central and Southern Asia (64th). Romania occupies the 52nd position in the global list out of 141 countries assessed.

Innovation is a crucial element of sustainable growth. Stronger Innovation Linkages for Global Growth is the keynote of the 2012 Global Innovation Index report. The idea is to direct the attention towards a modern innovation ecosystem built on mutual interaction between society actors, be it public or private sector representatives.

Conceptual Framework 

In 2012 the GII report assessed 141 economies, which represent 94.9% of the world’s population and 99.4% of the world’s GDP (in current US dollars). Regions that have been taken under loophole are based on the United Nations Classification and countries are ranked based on their income levels according to the World Bank Income Group Classification.

The Global Innovation Index 2012 builds upon previous editions of the index and is the result of two sub-indices: the Innovation Input Sub-Index and the Innovation Output Sub-Index, each built around pillars. The Innovation Input Sub-Index is made up of five input pillars that capture elements of the national economy that enable innovative activities: (1) Institutions, (2) Human capital and research, (3) Infrastructure, (4) Market sophistication, and (5) Business sophistication. The Innovation Input Sub-Index is practically the average of the first five pillar scores. The Innovation Output Sub-Index is the result of innovative activities within the economy. There are two output pillars: (6) Knowledge and technology outputs and (7) Creative outputs. The innovation Output Sub-Index is the simple average of the last two pillar scores. Although the Output Sub-Index includes only two pillars, it has the same weight in calculating the overall GII scores as the Input Sub-Index. The overall GII score is the simple average of the Input and Output Sub-Indices.

The Innovation Efficiency Index is the ratio of the Output Sub-Index over the Input Sub-Index. It shows how much innovation output a given country is getting for its inputs, and is a sense of efficiency of sorts.

The Innovators of the World

The world’s top innovator is Switzerland, maintaining its 2011 position of No. 1. Robust innovation capabilities of a knowledge-based economy of 7.8 million people pushed the score of Switzerland as high as 68.2 points, ranking the country 1st in the 2012 GII list on a global and regional level. Switzerland is a leader among the world’s high income level countries, as well.

The second position is occupied by Sweden who retains its 2011 position and comes in 1st among Nordic and European Union (EU) countries in the GII and its two sub-indices. The runner-up scored 64.8 points on the global scale.

Singapore is ranked 3rd in the GII 2012, maintaining its 2012 position and leading the rankings among Asian economies. In the top 10 list of innovators, Finland comes in 4th, followed by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, Hong Kong (China), Ireland and the United States of America.

Romania occupies the 52nd rank in the list, obtaining a general score of 37.8 points. Based on the country’s upper-middle income level, Romania ranks 11th among countries in this income classification group and in the Europe Region the country has made it to the 33rd position. Its major strengths are in the Input Sub-Index of Infrastructure (40th) and in the Output Sub-Index of knowledge and technology (46th). Romania ranks 8th based on the ease of getting credit and on ecological sustainability. The country occupies the pole position considering ISO 14001 environmental certificates/bn PPP$ GDP and the 3rd position in ISO 9001 quality certificates/ bn PPP$ GDP. Its major weaknesses are in creative outputs (82nd) and business sophistication (77th). (Romania – detailed country profile, Souce: World Intellectual Property Organisation, Global Innovation Index 2012)

The Performance of Europe

The GII 2012 rankings confirm that European countries continue to follow different progression patterns. A multi-speed Europe expands on different levels based on different perspectives. Northern Europe and Switzerland continue to be strong. This group includes not only Switzerland (ranked 1st in the GII) and three Nordic countries—Sweden (3rd), Finland (4th), and Denmark (7th)—but also the United Kingdom (UK, at 5th), the Netherlands (6th), and Ireland (9th).

These countries have common strengths in robust institutions and cohesive societies; well-developed infrastructures; skilled labor forces; a high level of assimilation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and of adoption of new technologies; well-developed medium- and high-tech sectors; open economies with dynamic financial markets; and sophisticated business and academic communities involved in research, patenting, and creativity.

Other economies in Western Europe have strengths across the board. This is the case of Luxembourg (11th), Germany (15th), Belgium (20th), Austria (22nd), and France (24th), which remain in the top 30.

Southern Europe offers generally a more worrisome situation, with lower rankings by Portugal (35th), Italy (36th), Croatia (42nd), Montenegro (45th), Serbia (46th), Macedonia, FYR (62nd), Greece (66th), Bosnia and Herzegovina (72nd), and Albania (90th).

In Eastern Europe GII rankings spotted a positive trend line. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine perform relatively well. According to the report, some countries in the East are the bright spot of Europe if we consider the level of absolute business and total R&D expenditures.

The Global Innovation Index 2012 is the result of a collaboration between INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as co-publishers, and their Knowledge Partners.

(T.Sz.)

Source: World Intellectual Property Organization, Global Innovation Index 2012

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