Summary of the Global Innovation Index (GII)2022:

Theme for 2022: “What is the future of innovation-driven growth?”.

Two driving waves of innovation are identified, although it is also stressed that their effects will take time to materialize:

  • A wave of innovation provided by the digital age, based on supercomputing, artificial intelligence, and automation. Its effects can have wide-ranging impacts on productivity in all sectors and fields of scientific research.
  • Another wave of innovation driven by what we can call “Deep Science” and made up of advances in biotechnologies, nanotechnologies, new materials, and other sciences. Its effects could revolutionize innovations in health, food, the environment, and mobility (four fields of key importance to society).

In my view, the second would be the priority because it addresses more directly the current challenges that affect our presence on the planet. The first could be considered as necessary because it provides “important advances” in the tools to be used.

What is the Global Innovation Index?

The Global Innovation Index 2022 analyses the performance of the innovation ecosystem of 132 economies and studies the most recent trends in innovation worldwide.

It is published annually and since 2007, it has been a leading reference for measuring the innovation performance of an economy and is a valuable aid to countries that want to develop new innovation strategies and economic policies, as well as a tool to improve the parameters of innovation. innovation in companies and organizations. The United Nations General Assembly has recognized the Global Innovation Index as an authoritative benchmark for measuring innovation and authoritative for measuring innovation in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Index Indicators:

The parameters to calculate the index include 81 indicators. Organized into two sub-indices: “Inputs” to innovation and “outputs”. The former includes 5 pillars: Institutions, Human Capital and Research, Infrastructure, Market Sophistication and Business Sophistication. The “outputs” are the results of innovation: “Production of knowledge and technology” and “Creative results”.

See more details and graphic at the end of this article.

Most Innovative Economies:

Switzerland is the most innovative economy in the world in 2022 for the 12th consecutive year followed by the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Switzerland leads in indicators such as “researchers”, “R&D investment” and “knowledge-intensive employment”.

China is closing in on the top 10, while Turkey and India break into the top 40 for the first time.

The top ten of the GII Global Innovation Ranking 2022 are:

  1. Switzerland (No. 1 in 2021)
  2. United States of America (No. 3 in 2021)
  3. Sweden (No. 2 in 2021)
  4. UK (No. 4 in 2021)
  5. Netherlands (No. 6 in 2021)
  6. Republic of Korea (No. 5 in 2021)
  7. Singapore (No. 8 in 2021)
  8. Germany (No. 10 in 2021)
  9. Finland (No. 7 in 2021)
  10. Denmark (No. 9 in 2021)

Full ranking of the Global Innovation Index 2022:


Europe continues to have the largest number of leading innovation economies. 15 countries are among the top 25.

Of the 39 European economies included in the Index, 12 rise in the ranking this year: the Netherlands (5th), Germany (8th), Austria (17th), Estonia (18th) , Luxembourg (19th), Malta (21st), Italy (28th), Spain (29th), Poland (38th), Greece (44th), the Republic of Moldova (56th). th) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (70th).

Switzerland obtains in “institutions” the best results in Europe (2nd overall). It is a world and regional leader in “results of innovation”, “creation of knowledge and technology” and in “creative production”. Germany is a leader in “human capital” and “research” and Sweden leads in “infrastructure” and “business development” globally in both pillars.

Another small country, Estonia ranks 18th in the global ranking and is the country with the highest market development in the region, in addition to excellent global results in the indicators of “electronic participation” (1st), “deals of venture capital” (1st), “imports of ICT services” and “new companies” (1st), “online public services” (2nd), “business policies and culture” (3rd ), “building mobile applications” (6th), and “financing for start-ups and scalable companies” (7th)

The European Union (EU) global position, as a whole, is below countries such as the USA, Canada, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Japan and China and Singapore, for example; although it has recently reduced distances with Australia and Japan, but increased with Canada, South Korea, and USA.


Spain is a “Moderate Innovator” with a performance of 88.8% of the EU average according to EIS (European Innovation Scoreboard). This performance is below the average for “Moderate Innovators” (89.7%).

Its result has increased from 2015 to 2021 by 8.6% points, but the increase in the same period for the EU was 9.9% points. For this reason, the performance gap with the EU is widening.

The “Innovation clusters”.

Principals “clusters” globals de ciència i tecnologia

In 2022, as in previous years, the top 100 science and technology hubs are concentrated in three regions (North America, Europe and Asia). China already has the same number of science and technology hubs as the United States.

Tokyo-Yokohama is the first global science and technology cluster, followed by Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou, Beijing (China), Seoul (Republic of Korea) and San José-San Francisco (USA).

In Europe, the main innovation clusters, and poles with the greatest scientific and technological intensity at a global level, are Cambridge, in the United Kingdom, and Eindhoven, in the Netherlands/Belgium. Behind is Germany, with Cologne and Munich ahead.

The Global Innovation Index 2022 also includes poles that are not among the top 100. Among the middle-income economies, Argentina, Egypt, Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand have science and technology hubs, respectively, in the cities of Buenos Aires, Cairo, Kuala Lumpur, Mexico City and Bangkok.

Principales “clusters”, polos de ciencia y tecnología en Europa

Featured in the 2022 GII Report

Data projections, as well as the global economic downturn, predicted a cut in R&D, in patents and intellectual property (IP) titles, and in venture capital during 2020 and 2021. However, the opposite happened. Investments in innovation have grown just in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic and multiplied in 2021, but it is not known if they will maintain their momentum in the rest of 22 and 23, given the new global challenges.

Global increase in R&D spending:

Global R&D investments grew in 2020 at a rate of 3.3%.

Government budgets in the countries that spend the most on R&D recorded notable growth in 2020. Figures for 2021 show a more mixed picture.

The top companies that invest the most in R&D increased their figure by more than 11% in 2020 and almost 10% to more than 900,000 million dollars in 2021, more than in 2019, before the pandemic.

This increase was mainly driven by four industries: ICT hardware and electrical equipment; pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; construction, industrial metals, and software.

The filing of IP applications increased during the 2020 pandemic and maintained its growth in 2021. Trademark registration grew by 15% in 2021.

Intense growth of venture capital (VC):

Venture capital growth exploded to 46% in 2021, posting comparable levels in the late 1990s. The regions of Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa are the fastest growing in venture capital.

The current outlook is more muted, given the tightening of monetary policies.

The Persistent Regional Innovation Gap

Despite all of the above, only a few economies consistently achieve the best results in terms of innovation.

Several economies in large areas of the world still experience difficulties in translating their resources into innovation and results

Input to output performance GII 2022

Only Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania continue to close the gap with North America and Europe.

Among economies in the upper-middle income group, China (11th) ranks 8th in the innovation output sub-index, and its output levels are comparable to those of high-income economies such as the UK. Kingdom (4th), the Netherlands (6th) and Germany (10th).

Among economies in the low-income group, the Islamic Republic of Iran (53rd), achieves comparable innovation performance to high-income European economies, Latvia (41st) and Croatia (42nd).)

And it is also true that there are several high-income economies that have to strive to achieve a better balance between their level of investment and their results, to the detriment of innovation. This group of countries includes, above all, oil and natural gas producing and exporting countries, Canada (15th), Norway (22nd), the United Arab Emirates (31st), Saudi Arabia (51st) among others.

Other aspects of the GII 2022 report:

  • Canada moved up to 15th place in the GII ranking, outperforming “in venture capital recipients, joint ventures and strategic alliance agreements, and computer software spending.”
  • The United States of America rose to second place, leading “innovation indicators, including global corporate investors in R&D, venture capital investors, the quality of its universities, the quality and impact of its scientific publications, and the value of intensity of corporate intangible assets. .
  • Eight economies from Latin America and the Caribbean region advanced in the ranking. Chile, Brazil and Mexico are among the top 60.
  • South Africa tops the ranking “in market capitalisation”, while Kenya holds “the best performing record for twelve consecutive years”.
  • Indonesia leads the world “in entrepreneurship policies and culture,” Vietnam “in high-tech imports, and the Philippines in high-tech exports.”

Highlights: Performance of India:

India remains the world leader in the indicator of “exports of ICT services”.

It is also the innovation leader of the lower middle-income group. It occupies position 40 out of 132 in the GII ranking. (It was ranked 46th in 2021 and 81st in 2015.)

It also ranks high in other indicators such as “venture capital receipts”, “funding for startups and scaleups”, “science and engineering graduates”, “labour productivity growth” and “industry diversification”.

What are the notable initiatives of India?

Digital India:

India embarked on the “Digital India” journey in 2015 and has set itself the goal of a multi-billion-dollar digital economy in the coming years.

Digital technologies are used in various areas, such as mapping capital assets using GIS technology and revolutionizing payments through the Unified Payment Interface (UPI).

In fact, 40% of global real-time digital transactions occurred in India in 2021.

National Education Policy 2020:

To further reinforce innovation, the National Education Policy was introduced, which promoted the spirit of research through the creation of incubation and technological development centres.

Atal Tinkering Labs:

More than 9,000 Atal Tinkering Labs encourage young people to develop solutions to society’s problems.

Structural reforms in IPR:

India has carried out structural reforms to strengthen its intellectual property rights (IPR) regime.

The presentation of patents has registered a growth of 46% in the last 5 years.


The authors indicate that the GII Global Innovation Index should not be interpreted as a single and definitive classification of economies in terms of innovation.

Rather, it responds to a desire to be an exponent of the incessant search for parameters and indicators that reflect, with greater precision, the results of innovation, all with a view to promoting the formulation of more appropriate innovation policies and help companies and organizations to create innovative culture.

Several reflections stand out from this year’s report:

  • The global innovation landscape is in flux, both in the top 25 innovative economies and more broadly in overall rankings and league tables by income group or region.
  • Despite these changes, and as the Asia region rapidly approaches North America and Europe, there is an urgent need to address the gap with other regions of the world, especially Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • In the last two decades, important achievements have been made in terms of incorporating innovation systems and policies on the agenda of policymakers, legislators and those responsible for innovation in companies and organizations. especially from developing countries. It would be a real shame if this momentum, along with the political will and accumulated experience, were held back by the crises the world is going through at the moment.

To delve into any of the above aspects, it is advisable to consult the full report:

Indicators and calculation of the Index

The general index of the GII is based on two sub-indices, equally important to present a complete picture of innovation: the Sub-Index of Innovation Inputs and the Sub-Index of Innovation Outputs.

  • The “Inputs” consist of five pillars and capture elements of the economy that allow and facilitate innovative activities. The pillars are: “Institutions”, “Human capital and research”, “Infrastructure”, “Market sophistication”, “Business sophistication”
  • The “outputs” are results of innovation: the set of innovative activities within the economy. It includes only two pillars, but the weight in the final calculation is the same as that of “inputs”: “Production of technology and knowledge” and “Creation of results”.

The General Index is the average of the two sub-indices.

Each of the five input pillars and two output pillars is divided into three “sub-pillars”, each one made up of indicators, with a total of 81.

Each “sub-pillar” is calculated by taking the weighted average of its individual indicator scores, which are normalized between 0 and 100, and those of the pillars using the weighted average of the scores of the respective “sub-pillars”.

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