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Bloomberg Innovation Index 2019 - South Korea tops ranking once again

Bloomberg L.P. is a privately held financial, software, data, and media company located in New York City.It annually publishes the Bloomberg Innovation Index, which ranks the world’s 60 most innovative countries. The index uses seven criteria metrics including Research and Development Expenditure as a percentage of GDP, Productivity, Patent Activity, Concentration of Researchers, as well as Concentration of High-tech Companies.

The 2019 ranking process started out with more than 200 economies. To be included in the ranking countries had to report data for at least six categories. Thus, the total list was eventually trimmed to 95 participating countries. For the complete ranking, please visit Bloomberg L.P.

In the Bloomberg 2019 Index, Germany almost beat South Korea due to added-value from manufacturing and research intensity.German industrial giants such as Volkswagen AG, Robert Bosch GmbH and Daimler AG were mainly responsible for its improved scores in the ranking. In 2018, Volkswagen, for example, announced that it wanted to phase out conventional vehicles and concentrate its research efforts on carbon-neutral cars, which may include a mix of hybrids, plug-in hybrids or even fuel cell cars. Germany, meanwhile, is also struggling with a shortage of skilled workers and changing immigration policies. Despite retaining its top position in the index South Korea, on the other hand, shortened its lead, partly because of lower scores in patent activity.

Israel was the only country which beat South Korea in the R&D intensity category, jumping from the 19th spot last year to 4th in the latest index. The Middle Eastern country overtook Singapore, Sweden and Japan in the process. Israel also retained its 5th spot in high-tech density for a second year.This year’s top spot in research concentration, meanwhile, went to Denmark.

Patent activity also improved the scores for China.It ranked No. 2 in patent activity on the strength of R&D from companies such as Huawei Technologies Co. and BOE Technology Group, but wasn’t able to catch up with most innovative countries in overall productivity.

The U.K. fell one spot to 18th and lost out to China for the first time. The U.S. rose three spots to 8th after falling out of the top 10 for the first time last year due to faster product cycles and intensifying competition.

Among 2019’s ranked economies, the biggest losers were Tunisia and Ukraine, which both fell out of the top 50. Tunisia experienced the biggest fall of those economies analysed by Bloomberg, dropping nine places. Of the top 60, Romania saw the biggest improvement in the rankings since last year, moving up six places.

The United Arab Emirates made the highest debut in 46th place. Brazil re-entered the ranking in 45th position after not being ranked last year. Some of the world’s largest emerging economies can also be found among the new entrants: India, Mexico, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia. South Africa is the only Sub-Saharan nation to be ranked.