August 17, 2016 9:40 pm

Canada ranks 15th on Global Innovation Index: Here’s where we fall behind

Canada has some work to do to improve its innovation performance.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press
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Canada placed 15th in a recent innovation ranking, inching up one spot from last year.

The Global Innovation Index surveys the innovative capacity of more than 100 countries around the globe. Switzerland took the top spot for the second year in a row, followed by Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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The ranking is based on 82 indicators across seven areas: institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication, business sophistication, knowledge and technology outputs and creative outputs.

The report is a joint effort from Cornell University, business school INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Innovation brings social and economic benefits, opening up new avenues for growth.

Canada can give itself a pat on the back when it comes to a number of factors in which it received top scores, among them ease of starting a business and the financial market’s “sophistication.”

A strong regulatory environment, political stability and high-quality universities are also recognized as top-notch, along with online creativity.

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However, Canada’s ranking has declined in the last few years, falling out of the Top 10.

This can be attributed to “comparatively weak performance” in education and research and development (R&D) expenditures, information and communication technology (ICT) services and energy efficiency.

Canada also lags when it comes to economy-wide investment and productivity figures.

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“Investing in innovation is critical to raising long-term economic growth,” said WIPO director General Francis Gurry in the report.

“In this current economic climate, uncovering new sources of growth and leveraging the opportunities raised by global innovation are priorities for all stakeholders.”

Here are the Global Innovation Index’s Top 20, and where the countries ranked last year in parenthesis:

  1. Switzerland (Number 1 in 2015)
  2. Sweden (3)
  3. United Kingdom (2)
  4. United States of America (5)
  5. Finland (6)
  6. Singapore (7)
  7. Ireland (8)
  8. Denmark (10)
  9. Netherlands (4)
  10. Germany (12)
  11. Republic of Korea (14)
  12. Luxembourg (9)
  13. Iceland (13)
  14. Hong Kong (China) (11)
  15. Canada (16)
  16. Japan (19)
  17. New Zealand (15)
  18. France (21)
  19. Australia (17)
  20. Austria (18)

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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