Bloomberg L.P. is private financial software, data, and media company headquartered in New York City. It provides financial software tools such as an analytics and equity trading platform, data services, and news to financial companies and organizations. The company annually releases a listing of the world’s most innovative countries, which can be viewed here.
Bloomberg's 2017 ranking of the world's 50 most innovative countries focuses on seven parameters that contribute to innovation. These parameters were equally weighted and their scores were combined to provide an overall score for each country from zero to 100. The metrics comprise: Research & Development, Manufacturing, High-tech density, Productivity, Tertiary efficiency, Researcher concentration, and Patent activity. The information used for the ranking was taken from sources including, for example, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Other sources providing information were the Swiss Federal Statistical Office and Unified Patents. The chief aim of this ranking is to see whether there is a formula for innovation, and what companies and governments need to do to reproduce it.
The highest score (89.00) was awarded to South Korea, but its lead narrowed, which the researchers compiling the index put down to a failure to improve productivity. South Korea was ranked first in R&D intensity, Value-added manufacturing, and Patent activity. It also achieved top-five rankings in High-tech density, Higher education and Researcher concentration. Its top ranking in Patent activity is largely due to Samsung’s technological achievements. The company was granted 8,551 patents in 2016.
Europe is very well represented as a whole with Sweden leading the way with an innovation score of 83.98. This is mainly due to improvement in manufacturing value-added. Sweden also puts a lot of emphasis on R&D. However, it has relied on a weak krona which has helped to increase exports, but is unsustainable.
In Eastern Europe, Poland is in the lead with significant innovation scores (67.47), which can mainly be attributed to the high ranking it received in Patent activity, where it achieved 11th position. Asia is blessed with some truly innovative nations such as South Korea, the current leader of the innovation world. Following hot on its trail are Singapore and Japan. Japan, which still has a struggling yen, dropped the most of any economy in the top 25, moving to number 7 from number 4. A major factor in this fall was that patent activity has somewhat decreased in Japan over the past few years. This year Japan was only ranked 3rd in Patent activity, behind South Korea and the US.
In South America, Brazil and Argentina received low scores, with corruption being a huge factor slowing down innovation. Israel broke into the top ten by achieving first place in Researcher Concentration. It has carved itself a niche as a centre of brain power. The country also ranked second (behind South Korea) in the R&D Intensity category. The U.S. dropped one spot to number 9. Its scores in Manufacturing Value-Added, Tertiary Efficiency, and Researcher Concentration are relatively low. Russia plummeted 14 places to position 26. This can be mainly attributed to the effect of sanctions and a couple years of low energy prices. The UK meanwhile has held on to its spot at number 17 for the second year. Its lowest scoring areas were Manufacturing Value-Added, Productivity, and R&D Intensity. With Brexit drawing ever nearer, experts believe that the UK will have to improve, particularly concerning these parameters.