Qatar most innovative in Middle East |
The Peninsula - 05 July, 2012
For the second straight year, Qatar has ranked first in the Middle East in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2012, an annual report on the overall innovation performance of countries, published by INSEAD, the leading international business school, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialised agency of the United Nations.
Qatar retained the first position in the MENA region and stood 33 in globally, losing seven notches from last year, when it was placed at 26th position.
UAE and Bahrain retained the second and third positions in the MENA region, with a global ranking at 37 and 41, respectively. UAE lost three notches from last year, while Bahrain raised its global ranking by five positions.
Oman and Saudi Arabia were the other two GCC countries ranked in the top 50, upgrading their ranking by 10 and 6 notches, respectively. Yemen (139) and Syria (132) came in the lowest positions among the MENA countries.
The Global Innovation Index ranked 141 countries/economies on the basis of their innovation capabilities and results. It was calculated as the average of two sub-indices. The Innovation Input Sub-Index gauges elements of the national economy which embodies innovative activities grouped in five pillars: (1) Institutions, (2) Human capital and research, (3) Infrastructure, (4) Market sophistication and (5) Business sophistication.
The Innovation Output Sub-Index captures actual evidence of innovation results, divided in two pillars: Knowledge and technology outputs and Creative outputs.
The list of overall top 10 performers has changed little from last year. Switzerland retained the first position, followed by Sweden, Singapore, Finland, the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Hong Kong (China), Ireland, and the US. The GII includes 15 economies from the MENA region, of which two — Qatar and the UAE — rank among the top 40 overall. Similarly, the UAE (28th) and Qatar (30th) rank highest among MENA countries in the input sub-index and rank in the top 20 on several pillars.
Where most MENA countries trail innovation leaders is in innovation outputs, Qatar, Jordan and the UAE lead the regional ranking, although they score below the top forty with Qatar at 41st place, Jordan at 46th and the UAE at 51st. The Peninsula
As a result, most MENA countries underperform on the Innovation Efficiency Index —a measure calculated as the ratio of the output sub-index over the input sub-index and that shows how innovation inputs are best translated into innovation outputs.
Jordan ranks highest in efficiency at position 21 followed by Kuwait in 54th place out of 141 countries.
“Such examples from Jordan and the GCC demonstrate rising levels of innovation achievements in MENA as a result of improvements in institutional frameworks, a skilled labour force (with an expanded tertiary education), and deeper integration with local and global investment and trade markets,” said the report.
At the pillar level, Qatar ranks 14th, 8th and 19th among 141 countries in Human capital and research, Business sophistication and Creative outputs respectively. Similarly, the UAE shines in Infrastructure, Business sophistication and Creative outputs where it ranks 17th, 16th and 20th respectively.
Other MENA countries managed to secure high rankings in several pillars. For example, Oman scored a high 33rd position in Institutions, Saudi Arabia ranks 36th in market sophistication and first in MENA. Similarly, Bahrain’s human capital and research ranks 18th overall, second only to Qatar in the region. In Knowledge and technology outputs, Lebanon comes first in MENA at position 48 overall.