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Most innovative countries list

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Switzerland is the world’s most innovative country. Its capacity for innovation and the quality of its scientific research institutions are just two of the factors that have enabled this small alpine country to hold onto the top spot in the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Index. Swiss companies are ready to invest in research and development (R&D) and collaborate well with universities to produce an economy where innovation is high on the agenda.

The index rates countries on 12 pillars of competitiveness. Countries are ranked according to each pillar, the 12th of which is ‘innovation’. Each pillar is also split into various sub-indexes.Switzerland has remained top of the overall global competitiveness ranking for six years in a row.

The US comes second, which matches its second place on the overall index.The US has a vibrant innovation ecosystem. Like Switzerland, it scores highly on most of the sub-indexes of the pillar, except for the number of its patent applications, where it sits in 10th place.

Israel’s third place is driven by similar strengths to Switzerland. It has a good capacity for innovation, high quality scientific research institutions and strong private sector spending and collaboration on R&D.

Europe leads the way when it comes to the Innovation Index. Of the remaining seven in the list, five are in Europe (Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark). Finland has the highest score for the number of scientists and engineers, while Germany is top for company spending on R&D. The quality of Dutch scientific research institutions boosts the Netherlands’ innovation score the most.Sweden, in seventh place, has the second highest score for patent applications. This is also where Denmark (10th) performs the best.

Japan (eighth) and Singapore (ninth) complete the top 10. Japan scores highest in patent applications while Singapore is strong on government investment in advanced technology products.

How countries perform

Japan and the Republic of Korea appear to have lost ground in recent years when it comes to innovation. Some of the larger emerging markets, on the other hand, are gaining ground. China, India and Indonesia in particular are all continuing to improve.

Why is innovation important?

Innovation remains a key driver of economic growth. The sheer pace of technological change seen in recent years creates unprecedented opportunities, as well as challenges.

The report states that the nature of innovation has changed significantly in the last decade. Where once innovation was largely confined to corporate or university labs, it’s now being driven from many different sources, or what the report calls the “distributed intelligence of a global crowd”.

The report outlines threats to the future competitiveness of economies. Two of those concern innovation. Firstly, financial vulnerabilities pose a threat to the ability of countries to continue to fund innovation and technological adoption. Secondly, while emerging economies are becoming better at innovation, more could be done to spread the benefits more widely in society.


According the World Competitiveness Rank 2018, Montenegro is ranked 77th out of 137 economies taken into consideration. Its performances are in the line with the average for the region “Europe and North America”. Parameters Market size, Business sophistication and Innovation are below the designed region’s average. “Market size” cannot be changed with reforms, but in some business circumstances small market size can be seen as a advantage, and Montenegro should play a role of a small player on the global market.

However, the government should more do on parameters “Business environment” and especially “Innovation”. Montenegro’s ranking for innovation is 91st, which is weaker spot than Guatemala, Mali and Botswana, and stronger than Zambia and Uruguay. Regarding Neighboring countries, Serbia is placed 95th, Albania 87th, Croatia (surprisingly) 106th, Bosnia-Herzegovina 123rd, Slovenia 35th, Italy 34th, Romania 96th, Bulgaria 68th, Turkey 69th.

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