Qatar has moved up two places in the Global Innovation Index (GII) compared to 2022 and now ranks 50th among 132 countries, according to a report released by the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on September 27.
The GII 2023 has surveyed and examined 132 economies worldwide, using 80 indicators to assess each country’s innovative capabilities and measurable results.
According to the report, Qatar has improved its performance in converting innovation input into output performance. The country’s global innovation index this year is 33.4, up from 32.9 last year.
Qatar’s GII ranking this year maintains its position as the third most innovative country in the Middle East, following the UAE (32nd) and Saudi Arabia (48th). Listed under the Northern Africa and Western Asia region, Qatar comes in at number six.
The GII input pillars include human capital and research, institutions, infrastructure, market sophistication, and business sophistication. Meanwhile, knowledge and technology outputs, as well as creativity, constitute the output performance.
Qatar’s GII ranking demonstrates the country’s commitment to promoting innovation and establishing a sustainable and knowledge-based economy at the same time.
In a recent roundtable session titled ‘Corporate Innovations for Sustainable Growth’, a business leader has affirmed that there is a growing consciousness among Qatari businesses and entities on boosting corporate innovation and sustainable growth in the country, promising a thriving ecosystem for achieving a knowledge-based economy.
In another recent event, a technology and innovation expert has stated that Qatar is emerging as one of leading countries in the world in technology adaptation and innovation. “We believe Qatar is set to lead innovation in the region, and we are excited to be a part of it,” said Dr. Chawki Tawbi, CTO, Data & AI Lead at Google Cloud
As the GII report identifies a country’s strengths and weaknesses, it assist governments in devising policy responses to improve their performance for future development.
WIPO revealed that there are some systematic and positive innovation rank developments in the MENA region as economies in Bahrain (67th from 72nd), Oman (69th from 79th), Jordan (71st from 78th ) and Egypt (86th from 89th) also experience notable improvements in their innovation rating.
For the 13th year in a row, Switzerland is the most innovative economy in 2023 followed by Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore.
Completing the top 10 economies in the GII report this year are Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and South Korea.
GII 2023 themed ‘Innovation in the Face of Uncertainty’, said that this year’s report comes against a background of slow post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery, high interest rates, and geopolitical conflict.
Co-Editor Bruno Lanvin commenting on the report stated:
“While many governments still struggle with the massive amounts of public debt accumulated during COVID, the business sector has continued to increase its levels of innovation. However, this trend may hide growing disparities, as some sectors have attracted significant funding (typically artificial intelligence) while gaps have started to appear in the financing chain, especially venture capital for small and new businesses.”
WIPO Director General Daren Tang, said:
“A group of emerging economies are consistently climbing the GII ranks, showing how a focus on the innovation ecosystem can make a difference. Globally, despite a downturn in venture capital funding, the GII 2023 should reassure us that innovative activity currently continues to run strong but that innovative activity should continue to shift from quantity to quality. With the GII, policymakers across the world continue to have a rich and trusted source of data and information to craft pro-innovation policies to unleash the innovative potential of their people.”
Among the GII’s key findings:
■ Scientific publications, research and development (R&D), the number of venture capital (VC) deals (but not their value) and patents continued to increase to higher than ever levels. However, growth rates were lower than the exceptional increases seen in 2021.
■ In 2022, spending by corporations representing the largest investors in R&D reached USD 1.1 trillion in 2022 – a historic high. They increased their R&D spend by around 7.4 percent in 2022, down from 15 percent growth in 2021.
■ Mirroring the recent surge of artificial intelligence, the ICT hardware sectors saw graphic card and chipmakers in the lead with the most notable R&D growth in 2022. Other sectors which cut back R&D spending during the pandemic, such as automobiles and travel and leisure, invested strongly again in 2022.
■ According to preliminary data, global government R&D budgets are estimated to have increased in real terms in 2022. Significant increases took place in Japan and the Republic of Korea, and smaller ones in Germany, making up for cuts in other economies.
■ Reflecting a deteriorating climate for risk finance, the total value of VC investments declined sharply by close to 40 percent in 2022, albeit from unusually high levels in 2021. Africa was the only region not to see a decline in 2022.
■ The VC outlook for 2023 and 2024 is uncertain, with high interest rates likely to continue to impact the financing of innovation.
■ Indicators in the fields of information technology, health and energy continue to show progress – the Digital Age and Deep Science innovation waves outlined in GII 2022 are well underway.
■ Overall, technology adoption is developing positively even though penetration for some technologies, such as electric vehicles and cancer treatment, remains low.
“With the GII, policymakers across the world continue to have a rich and trusted source of data and information to craft pro-innovation policies to unleash the innovative potential of their people,” Tang stated in the report.
The GII ranking is published annually since 2007 by WIPO, in partnership with the Portulans Institute and the support of international partners. The report has become the leading benchmarking tool used by policymakers, business leaders, and other stakeholders around the world for tracking and assessing global innovation trends.