WHICH is the world’s most innovative country? Answering this question is the aim of the annual Global Innovation Index and a related report, which were published in September by Cornell University, INSEAD, a business school, and the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
The ranking of 140 countries and economies around the world, which are scored using 79 indicators, is not surprising: Switzerland, Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands and America lead the pack.
But the authors also look at their data from other angles, for instance how countries do relative to their economic development and the quality of innovation (measured by indicators such as university rankings).
In both cases the results are more remarkable. The chart above shows that in innovation many countries in Africa punch above their economic weight. And the chart below indicates that, even though China is now churning out a lot of patents, it is still way behind America and other rich countries when it comes to innovation quality.