Global Innovation Index, 2021

Global Innovation Index, 2021
Photo by Matt Ridley on Unsplash

Global Innovation Index (GII) ranks countries as per their success and capacity in innovation[1]. The GII has been published every year since its inception in 2007 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in partnership with Cornell University, INSEAD business school, and other organizations and institutions. It has shaped the innovation measurement plan and become a cornerstone of economic policymaking. Several governments analyze the results and findings of GII and design policy responses to improve their performance accordingly[2]. The 2021 edition of the GII showcases innovation rankings of 132 countries based on 7 broad indicators, which are further divided into 81 sub-indicators.  This year's GII report also focuses on the impact of the COVID-18 pandemic on innovation[3].

The GII 2021 finds that investment in innovation has shown remarkable resilience during the pandemic. Historical evidence suggested a severe cutback in innovation investments due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, despite the human toll and economic shock resulting from the pandemic, research and development expenditure, IP filings, venture capital deals, etc., continued to grow in 2020.

Key Findings: -

The rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines in 2020 has fulfilled the promise of technological progress. However, only a few economies have consistently delivered peak innovation performance since the last three years, i.e., Switzerland, Sweden, the United States of America (USA), and the United Kingdom (UK), while the Republic of Korea for the first time joins the top 5 GII economies[4].

Few middle-income countries are changing the innovation landscapes, starting with China, India, Turkey, Vietnam, and the Philippines. It is generally challenging for middle-income countries to improve their innovation performance consistently and match high-income countries. Only a few middle-income countries have managed to cope with the innovation by complementing successful domestic innovation with international technology transfer.

India has performed better and is ranked at 46th in 2021, climbing two steps from 48th in 2020. It has performed better in innovation inputs as well as innovation inputs. It ranks 2nd among the 34 lower-middle-income groups of countries. India ranks 1st among the 10 countries in Central and Southern Asia[5].

India's strength can be seen in these indicators (ranks): ICT services exports (1st), Graduates in science and engineering (12th),  Global corporate R&D investors (15th), QS university ranking (23rd), Ease of protecting minority investors (13th), Trade, diversification, and market scale (7th), Domestic industry diversification (12th), Domestic market scale (3rd), Citable documents H-index (21st), Labour productivity growth (17th), Knowledge diffusion (13th), Cultural and creative services exports (18th)[6].

[1] 2021. Global Innovation Index | Make in India. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 8 December 2021].

[2] 2021. Global Innovation Index (GII). [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 8 December 2021].

[3] Ibid

[4] 2021. Executive Summary | Global Innovation Index, 2021. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 8 December 2021].

[5] 2021. India | Country Profiles | Global Innovation Index. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 8 December 2021].

[6] Ibid