Can India catch up with China in Global Innovation Index?

India needs to improve its score in parameters like: Human capital & research, infrastructure, business sophistication, knowledge & technology outputs and creative inputs to catch with China

It’s a good year for India and China with respect to Global Innovation Index as both the countries have improved their rankings. India has improved its ranking by three positions to reach 57th whereas China is ranked 17th by leapfrogging 10 positions.

Global Innovation Index 2018 is jointly released by WIPO, Cornell University, INSEAD and the 2018 GII Knowledge Partners, the Confederation of Indian Industry, PwC’s Strategy & National Confederation of Industry (CNI) – Brazil and Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service and measures seven key parameters – Institutions, human capital & research, infrastructure, market sophistication, business sophistication, knowledge & technology outputs and creative inputs. In toto, the Global Innovation Index measures around 80 indicators, ranging from intellectual property filing rates to mobile-application creation, education spending and scientific and technical publications.

China’s number 17 ranking this year represents a breakthrough for an economy witnessing rapid transformation guided by government policy prioritizing research and development-intensive ingenuity.

“China’s rapid rise reflects a strategic direction set from the top leadership to developing world-class capacity in innovation and to moving the structural basis of the economy to more knowledge-intensive industries that rely on innovation to maintain competitive advantage,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.

ParametersIndia ScoreChina Score
Human Capital & Research32.847.8
Market Sophistication53.455.6
Business Sophistication30.156
Knowledge & Technology Outputs30.356.5
Creative Inputs25.445.4

Source: Global Innovation Index 2018

The parameters where India needs to improve are human capital & research, infrastructure, business sophistication, knowledge & technology outputs and creative inputs. In education, the focus should be on education, tertiary education and R&D whereas infrastructure should focus on ICT technologies, general infrastructure and ecological sustainability.

In business sophistication parameter, the focus is on knowledge workers, innovation linkages and knowledge absorption. Knowledge & technology outputs focuses on knowledge creation, knowledge impact and knowledge diffusion whereas creative inputs focuses on parameters like intangible assets, creative goods & services and online creativity.

“Over time, a number of emerging economies stand out for being real movers and shakers in the innovation landscape,” said Soumitra Dutta, Former Dean and Professor of Management at Cornell University.

“Aside from China, which is already in the top 25, the middle-income economy closest to this top group is Malaysia. Other interesting cases are India, Iran, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam which consistently climb in the rankings,” added Dutta.

“Given its size and innovation development, India has the potential to make a true difference to the global innovation landscape in the years to come. The Indian Government and CII are working closely with the GII team to further improve the Indian innovation performance,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry, another GII Knowledge Partner.



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