What fuels innovation?

While there may not be, a specific formula guaranteeing successful innovation, there are common factors that indicate successful innovators.

By analysing data across seven categories, the Global Innovation Index not only lists the most innovative countries in the world but also defines what makes them successful.

The Index shows that the top 16 innovative countries in the world all have certain factors in common. These include making intelligent business decisions, creative teaching and the enforcement of progressive laws.

Most innovative countries

1. Switzerland has been number one in the Index since 2011, thanks to its flexibility and ability to monetise innovative thinking.

2. Sweden has made it to the top three for six years in a row, thanks primarily to its exceptional universities and high-achieving graduates.

3. The Netherlands tops the business sophistication category, due to the high number of patents filed. It also scores highly in the technology and knowledge categories, which includes inventions and trade marks.

4. The United States has been in this position since 2016. Its main strengths include its wide use of technology and its global markets.

5. The United Kingdom hangs on to its high ranking thanks to infrastructure projects such as London Crossrail. However, it dips when it comes to productivity and education.

6. Denmark has leapt two places since 2016, thanks to its efficiency of government, high level education and large number of researchers.

7. Singapore continues to stand out for its environmental sustainability and political environment, and remains high on the index.

8. Finland came in the top five for a few years but has since dropped down due to its decline in research and technology. It remains at the top in the education category.

9. Germany has a particularly strong automobile technology output and comes high in the creation of patents.

10. Ireland has dropped three places since 2016 but continues to thrive with its infrastructure and creativity.

11. The Republic of Korea scores highly for its research and development and its education sector.

12. Luxembourg is a tiny country with a high score in creativity, particularly with films and books.

13. Iceland has stayed at number three since 2013 as it battles its financial problems. However, it scores highly for technology and data storage.

14. Japan is ranked highly for manufacturing and technology and manufacturing sectors, and comes in at number one for infrastructure and patent filings.

15. France has gone up three spots since 2016 thanks to its strengths in market sophistication, which includes venture capital deals. It also ranks highly in research and development.

16. Hong Kong has fallen nine places since 2013, mostly because of its decrease in patent filings and lower education scores. However, its market stability, investment and trade opportunities still make it a major player.

Dawn Ellmore Employment was incorporated in 1995 and is a market leader in intellectual property and legal recruitment.

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