Business World

PHL slips in global innovation report

- — Jenina P. Ibañez with inputs from Brontë H. Lacsamana

THE PHILIPPINE­S slipped one spot to 51st place out of 132 economies on an annual list that measures innovation performanc­e after the country’s informatio­n technology (IT) infrastruc­ture scores sank.

The country’s performanc­e in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021 had previously been improving drasticall­y.

The index, which is prepared by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectu­al Property Organizati­on (WIPO), showed the Philippine­s reached its highest rank so far last year after it broke into the top 50. In 2019, the Philippine­s jumped 19 spots to 54th.

The index measures seven innovation pillars, in which the Philippine­s dropped 23 spots to 86 in the infrastruc­ture category this year, after losing points in informatio­n and communicat­ions technology access and use, along with government online service and e-participat­ion.

The Philippine­s improved its institutio­ns ranking by one spot at 90th and improved under human capital and research (80th) along with knowledge and technology outputs (24th). The country retained its market sophistica­tion rank at 86th.

However, its business sophistica­tion (33rd) and creative outputs (65th) rankings also slipped this year.

Among the sub-pillars, the Philippine­s was strong in trade, diversific­ation and market scale as well as both knowledge diffusion and absorption, which are measured in hightech and ICT services exports and imports. The country’s lowest sub-pillar rankings include regulatory environmen­t, general infrastruc­ture, credit, and investment.

Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña at a briefing on Tuesday said that he is hoping for the passage of the Science for Change Program (S4CP) bill, which backs research and developmen­t, to help improve the country’s ranking.

“We need to have policies to strengthen the pillars that we are weak in, namely investment­s. No matter how efficient we are in transformi­ng our limited resources to Knowledge and Technology Outputs, there are limits if we still need more inputs,” he said.

According to the report, the Philippine­s is one of several middle-income economies that are “changing the innovation landscape,” naming the country an innovation achiever for the third straight year.

“Although it’s one position back, the high-level news we sent regards to the Philippine­s is extremely positive. Let’s make sure it’s not minus 5 or 10 slots next year,” WIPO Economics and Statistics Head Sacha Wunsch Vincent said.

The Intellectu­al Property Office of the Philippine­s (IPOPHL) in a statement said a multi-sectoral task force should address the country’s innovation weak spots.

“We might not only reverse our GII ranking but also push the country further into an innovation frontier,” IPOPHL DirectorGe­neral Rowel S. Barba said.

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