By Amaan Afzal
By Amaan Afzal
Rabat – The Top 50 in Innovation Rankings were released Monday, a list by Bloomberg comparing different countries’ innovative strides for the year.
This marks the sixth year since these yearly rankings have been compiled and the first time the USA has dropped below the top 10, sliding two places to 11th.
USA experienced this decline due to a combination of factors including a decrease in new science and engineering graduates in the work force, causing them to plummet eight positions in the postsecondary education-efficiency category.
‘There are seven equally weighted brackets by which the rankings are determined, such as ‘manufacturing value-added’ where the USA also saw a drop. As a result, their improvements in the productivity sector proved too small to score them a top ten spot. Their replacement on the prestigious list is France, that jumped two spots from the US’s current position passing Israel at tenth who sported the best Research and Development score.
“I see no evidence to suggest that this trend will not continue,” said the president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation situated in Washington D.C, Robert Atkinson, who continued, providing his justification “Other nations have responded with smart, well-funded innovation policies like better R&D tax incentives, more government funding for research, more funding for technology commercialization initiatives.”
Where home to Silicon Valley failed Singapore thrived, topping the tertiary education-efficiency list, propelling them to third position ahead of European powerhouses Germany, Switzerland and Finland.
Professor at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, Yeo Kiat Seng stated that “Singapore has always placed strong focus on educating her populace, especially in [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] disciplines” and combined with their “steadfast commitment to funding R&D and innovation” ensued this year’s success.
South Korea continues to top the rankings for the fifth consecutive year, with Sweden following close behind. Their consistent triumphs can be partly attributed to Samsung Electronics, who possess the second most U.S. patents of any firm, boosting their ‘patent activity’ rating, and who created a partner and supplier economic environment in the nation, through their innovations ranging from smartphones to semiconductors.
Last years rankings demonstrated more drastic changes in positions, such as the 14-spot drop endured by Russia, a direct result of sanctions placed due to their military intervention in Ukraine and the ensuing energy-price plummet.
The largest losses of the year were suffered by both Ukraine and New Zealand, falling four ranks, while Russia made up minimally by moving from 26th to 25th.
Italy and Turkey are the most innovatively improved, each promoted by four ranks. Morocco was static this year, once again taking 50th place on the list while South Africa and Iran re-entered the top 50 just ahead of the Western Kingdom.
Morocco’s future success in innovation perhaps lies in the words of Prinn Panitchpakdi, the head of a brokerage and investment group in Thailand, who fell one position in the rankings to 45th:
“One common trait of the U.S., Korea and China is that people accept failure as part of the process. Innovation lags in countries where the culture emphasizes risk avoidance and where R&D is seen purely as an expense, not an investment.”