UAE climbs six places in innovation index
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.”