The Bloomberg Innovation Index 2021 analyzes dozens of criteria using seven equally weighted metrics. Between them, it is included spending on research and development, production capacity, and concentration of public high-tech companies.
Latin America didn’t stand out in the Bloomberg Innovator Index 2021 that ranked sixty countries around the world. Brazil was the best performer in the 2021 ranking, placing in the 46th. South Korea is a global leader in innovation, seven of the top 10 places go to European countries.
South Korea returned to first place on the Bloomberg Innovation Index 2021. Meanwhile, the United States left the top 10 – moved to 11th place -, now almost entirely occupied by European countries.
The Asian nation, which led the ranking for seven of the nine years of publication, recovered the German crown. Germany fell to fourth place. Singapore and Switzerland moved up one position each, coming in second and third, respectively.
According to the report, the 2021 rankings reflect a world where the fight against covid-19 has brought innovation to the forefront, from government efforts to contain the pandemic, through digital infrastructure that has enabled economies to work with her, until the race to develop the vaccines.
Much of the index data is from before the coronavirus crisis. Even so, points out the publication, it is notable that several countries at the top of the classification, such as South Korea, Germany, and Israel, have been world leaders in some areas to combat the pandemic, whether in contact tracking or rapid vaccination.
Top 10 in Bloomber Innovation Index 2021
1- South Korea
South Korea’s return to the top
South Korea’s return to first place is mainly due to the increase in patent activity and the strong performance in R&D and manufacturing. Singapore, the runner-up, stands out for allocating budgetary funds to help workers and businesses in the transition to a digital economy and also scores high for manufacturing. Also, its globally competitive universities place it at the top of the higher education indicator. Switzerland has became a leader in financial and biological technology. In this year, the country is close to first place in both categories of research in the index.
Germany’s fall to the fourth position follows a warning given two years ago by Juergen Michels. The chief economist at Bayerische Landesbank said the country lacks skilled workers and an adequate strategy for next-generation technology.
Like the two largest economies, the United States and China are responsible for much of the world’s innovation and are also waging a battle in key policy areas, such as intellectual property rights. This year, both saw their ratings drop – the US lost two positions and China, which ranks 16th, one.
The US is losing his position as a world leader in innovation
In the case of the North American country, in a report last year, the National Science Board concluded that where it was once the undisputed leader, as in science and engineering, we are now playing a less dominant role.
The world power scores poorly in higher education, although its universities are globally famous. This underperformance was probably compounded by obstacles for foreign students, who are often prominent in science and technology classes – first due to the Trump administration’s visa policies and then because of the pandemic.
China, on the other hand, is fighting a battle with the United States over the main aspects of innovation policy. Its decline also reflects long-term issues, such as the erosion of value-added production – where regional competitors like Vietnam and Bangladesh have gained ground.
“The intensification of competition between the USA and China is reshaping the innovation landscape. For the United States, the fear of losing intellectual property to a geopolitical rival is undermining support for the open innovation system. For China, the fear of running out of foreign technology is accelerating investment in R&D capacity in the country, “says Tom Orlik, chief economist at Bloomberg.
Some winners in this year’s index include India, which has returned to the top 50, which has not happened since 2016, and Uruguay, which qualified for the first time. Algeria (59th) and Argentina (51st) were the countries that fell the most: ten and six positions. Brazil, as in last year’s ranking, is in 46th place.