Leading international business school INSEAD has jointly released its 2012 Global Innovation Index with the World Intellectual Property Organization. The report ranked the innovation capabilities and performances of 141 countries, revealing lingering disparities in patenting resources but a growing awareness for their central role in economic and industrial progress.
"The [report] is a timely reminder that policies to promote innovation are critical to the debate on spurring sustainable economic growth," WIPO director general Francis Gurry said. "The downward pressure on investment in innovation exerted by the current crisis must be resisted. Otherwise we risk durable damage to countries' productive capacities."
Report authors confirmed that the United States continues to retain the deepest intellectual property portfolio, but relative shortfalls in education and "innovation outputs" pushed the country down to the No. 10 spot on the list of global innovation leaders.
Perhaps more intriguing, however, was a secondary list of rankings based on the efficiency with which countries transform "given innovation inputs" into productive outputs. Switzerland and the Netherlands were the only two carryovers from the original top 10, with smaller nations including Estonia, Malta and the Republic of Moldova proving to be among the thriftiest managers of their intellectual assets.