UAE climbs six places in in­no­va­tion in­dex

Gulf Business - - NEWS AND VIEWS - By Neil King

has moved up six places in the 2017 Global In­no­va­tion In­dex – rank­ing 35th out of 130 economies world­wide, and first in the Arab world.

The coun­try’s per­for­mance in this year’s list was sup­ported by in­creased data avail­abil­ity and strengths in ter­tiary in­bound mo­bil­ity, in­no­va­tion clus­ters, and in­no­va­tion-driven ICT busi­ness model in­no­va­tion, ac­cord­ing to the as­so­ci­ated report co-au­thored by Cor­nell Univer­sity, INSEAD and the World In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Else­where in the GCC, Qatar was ranked 49th, Saudi Ara­bia 55th, Kuwait 56th, Bahrain 66th, and Oman 77th.

Switzer­land topped the list for the sev­enth con­sec­u­tive year, fol­lowed by Swe­den, the Nether­lands, the US, the UK, Den­mark, Sin­ga­pore, Finland, Ger­many and Ire­land.

High-in­come economies made up 24 of the top 25 spots, with China the ex­cep­tion at 22, hav­ing en­tered the top 25 in 2016.

Soumi­tra Dutta, dean of Cor­nell SC John­son Col­lege of Busi­ness at Cor­nell Univer­sity, said: “Ef­forts to bridge the in­no­va­tion di­vide have to start with help­ing emerg­ing economies un­der­stand their in­no­va­tion strengths and weak­nesses, and cre­ate ap­pro­pri­ate poli­cies and met­rics.

“This has been the GII’s pur­pose for more than 10 years now.”

As part of its Vi­sion 2021 ob­jec­tives, the UAE aims to be ranked in the top 10 of the in­dex, which uses dozens of met­rics in­clud­ing patent fil­ings and ed­u­ca­tion spend­ing.

In late 2014, the UAE gov­ern­ment an­nounced 2015 as the 'Year of In­no­va­tion', launch­ing a Na­tional In­no­va­tion Strat­egy to help make the coun­try a world leader in the field through dozens of na­tional ini­tia­tives.

At the time, the Pres­i­dent of the UAE, Sheikh Khal­ifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said: “The Year of In­no­va­tion comes to sup­port fed­eral gov­ern­ment ef­forts, at­tract na­tional skills, in­crease dis­tin­guished re­search, as well as boost ef­forts to build a na­tional cadre who are able to lead our fu­ture in this field to­wards more progress, pros­per­ity and in­no­va­tion.

“We must pre­pare and equip our gen­er­a­tions in such a man­ner that they fit in the world in which we live, en­sure their po­si­tion among na­tions, and make a pros­per­ous fu­ture for us sim­i­lar to our present.”

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