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In a big development, India is now ranked 52nd on the Global Innovation Index 2019, a jump of 5 places over last year, and 29 places in the last five years – up from 81 in 2015. Facilitating entrepreneurship through innovation is a critical component under the vision of Modi government’s new India by 2022. According to the Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal. India’s consistent rise at the global innovation index is a testimony of its people’s entrepreneurial prowess


About the Global Innovation Index:

  • The Global Innovation Index 2019 (GII), in its 12th edition this year, is co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, a specialized agency of the United Nations).
  • Published annually since 2007, the GII is now a leading benchmarking tool for business executives, policy makers and others seeking insight into the state of innovation around the world.
  • The study draws on the expertise of its Knowledge Partners: the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Dassault Systèmes – The 3DEXPERIENCE Company, and the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) and Serviço Brasileiro de Apoio às Micro e Pequenas Empresas (SEBRAE), as well as an Advisory Board of eminent international experts.
  • The core of the GII Report consists of a ranking of world economies’ innovation capabilities and results.
  • Recognizing the key role of innovation as a driver of economic growth and prosperity, and the need for a broad vision of innovation applicable to developed and emerging economies, the GII includes indicators that go beyond the traditional measures of innovation, such as the level of research and development.

GII 2019 Theme: “Creating Healthy Lives – The Future of Medical Innovation”

The GII is concerned primarily with improving the journey towards a better way to measure and understand innovation and with identifying targeted policies and good practices that foster innovation. The GII creates an environment in which innovation factors are under continual evaluation, including the following features:

  • 129 country/economy profiles, including data, ranks, and strengths and weaknesses
  • 80 data tables for indicators from over 30 international public and private sources, of which 57 are hard data, 18 composite indicators, and 5 survey questions
  • A transparent and replicable computation methodology including 90% confidence intervals for each index ranking (GII, output and input sub-indices) and an analysis of factors affecting year-on-year changes in rankings

The GII 2019 is calculated as the average of two sub-indices.

The Innovation Input Sub-Index gauges elements of the national economy which embody innovative activities grouped in five pillars: (1) Institutions, (2) Human capital and research, (3) Infrastructure, (4) Market sophistication, and (5) Business sophistication.

The Innovation Output Sub-Index captures actual evidence of innovation results, divided in two pillars: (6) Knowledge and technology outputs and (7) Creative outputs.

For the ninth consecutive year, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission audited the GII calculations.


About WIPO

  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation.
  • A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 192 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving needs.
  • It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes.
  • It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.


For the first time, the GII launch is being hosted by the Government of India, which uses the GII in creative ways to strengthen its policy framework for innovation at both the national and regional levels.

“The 2019 launch of the Global Innovation Index in India is a significant event and a recognition of the Government of India’s commitment to innovation in recent years,” said Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways Piyush Goyal. He added: “The GII is a useful tool for governments to map out their strategies to foster innovation. The Government of India compliments the World Intellectual Property Organization for its efforts in this direction.”


Top 10 in Global Ranking All 2019 rankings

  1. Switzerland
  2. Sweden
  3. United States of America
  4. The Netherlands
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Finland
  7. Denmark
  8. Singapore
  9. Germany
  10. Israel



GII 2019 Key Findings:

  • The global landscape of science, innovation, and technology has undergone important shifts over the last decades. Middle-income economies, especially in Asia, are increasingly contributing to global research and development (R&D) and international patenting rates via WIPO’s International Patent System.
  • The GII 2019 shows that public R&D expenditures – particularly in some high-income economies – are growing slowly or not at all. This raises concerns given the public sector’s central role in funding basic R&D and blue-sky research, which are key to future innovations;
  • Increased protectionism poses risks. If left uncontained, it will lead to a slowdown of growth in innovation productivity and diffusion across the globe;
  • Innovation inputs and outputs are still concentrated in very few economies. Divides also persist in how effectively economies obtain return on their innovation investments. Some economies achieve more with less;
  • Most top science and technology clusters are in the U.S., China, and Germany, while Brazil, India, Iran, the Russian Federation, and Turkey also feature in the top 100 list. The top five clusters: Tokyo-Yokohama (Japan); Shenzhen-Hong Kong, China (China); Seoul (Republic of Korea); Beijing (China); San Jose-San Francisco (U.S.).



  • India maintains its top place in the Central and Southern Asia region as the  52nd ranked economy this year.
  • From 81 in 2015, India’s 29-place move up the GII represents the biggest jump by any major economy.
  • Thanks to its high-quality scientific publications and universities, India remains 2nd among middle-income economies in the quality of innovation.
  • It maintains top ranks in a number of important indicators such as productivity growth and exports of services related to information and communication technologies.
  • This year India reaches the 15th spot in global companies’ R&D expenditures.
  • It also features in the GII ranking on the world’s top science and technology clusters, with Bengaluru, Mumbai and New Delhi included in the global top 100 clusters.
  • India also outperformed on innovation relative to its GDP per capita for nine consecutive years, only matched by three other countries. (Vietnam, Republic of Moldova, and Kenya)
  • In comparison, India’s rank in World Bank’s Doing Business survey has improved 65 spots to 77th position in 2018.
  • Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal releasing the report said the government will work hard to take the country to 25th ranking in next four years to meet the target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • India improved its ranking in four out of seven pillars of GII, such as knowledge and technology outputs (up 11 spots to 32nd), market sophistication (up 3 spots to 33rd), human capital and research (up 3 spots to 53rd), institutions (up 3 spots to 77th). By contrast, in business sophistication (65th), infrastructure (79th), creative outputs (78th), it lost one, two and three spots respectively.
  • WIPO said India’s improvement this year is largely due to its relative performance and less so to new GII data or methods.
  • In the “knowledge and technology outputs” pillar, which saw the highest 11 spot jump, India’s ranking improved for IP-related variables, notably patents by origin (52nd) and PCT patents by origin under Patent Cooperation Treaty (51st), and IP receipts (50th). In this pillar, India maintained its top position in ICT (information and communications technology) services exports, where it ranks 1st in the world, and in labor productivity growth with 4th position.
  • India is consistently among the top in the world in innovation drivers such as ICT services exports, Graduates in science & engineering, the quality of universities, Gross capital formation—a measure of economy-wide investments—and Creative goods exports.
  • Given its size—and if progress is upheld—India will make a true impact on global innovation in the years to come,” the report said.
  • Among the sub-pillars, where India lost relative strength to other countries, the largest drops are found in logistics performance (down 9 spots to 43rd), Females employed with advanced degrees (down 10 spots to 103rd) and Printing and other media (down 12 spots to 88th).
  • While India improved in the GII ranking, some relative weaknesses still persist. These include Environmental performance (125th), New businesses (100th), and Entertainment and media market 60th),” the report said.
  • When it comes to quality of innovation which includes quality of local universities, internationalisation of patented inventions and quality of scientific publications, China, India, and the Russian Federation hold the top 3 positions among middle income countries with India ranking 26th globally.
  • India ranks 2nd among the middle-income economies, with top positions in quality of universities and in quality of scientific publications,” the report said.
  • Indian Institute of Technology situated in Bombay, Bengaluru and Delhi occupied the 8th, 9th and 10th rank respectively among the top 10 universities in the middle income countries.
  • In “Human capital and research” pillar, two important variables have improved for India: Gross expenditure on R&D (50th) and expenditure by global R&D companies (15th) which is a relative strength for the country.
  • “Its (India’s) share in world R&D expenditures has increased since the mid-1990s, but less sharply than other middle-income countries, such as China, or other Asian powerhouses, such as the Republic of Korea.
  • In Global R&D companies, India reaches the 15th spot as the second middle-income economy.
  • In this pillar, the indicator Graduates in science and engineering (7th) remains a relative strength for the country,” the report said.


Homework which India has done:

  • India is strongly committed to the 2030 agenda including SDGs.
  • India is trying to achieve it with research and innovation in various areas.
  • In 2016, India launched its Flagship innovation programme Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) which focusses on scaling startup incubation centres and promoting innovation cultures through school children.
  • One of the significant areas where India is banking on innovation to make an impact is the development of Renewable Energy Infrastructure.
  • Innovative measures has also helped India’s Space Programme make huge strides.
  • Even launched a students satellite Kalamsat in 2019. India has made historic advances with the launch of Chandrayaan2.
  • India has launched 239 satellites for 28 different countries as of October 2018.
  • All satellites were launched using ISRO’s PSLV expendable launch system.
  • ISRO successfully launched 104 satellites by a single rocket on 15th February 2017 of which 3 satellites are Indian satellites.
  • Artificial Intelligence is expected to more than double the rate of innovation and employee productivity in India by 2021.
  • Only one-third of organisations have embarked on their AI journeys. Those who have already adopted it are expected to increase their competitiveness by 2.3 times in 2021.
  • Dawn of mobile technology, data availability and the explosion of open-source software also provides AI huge playing field in the Banking Sector.
  • NITI Aayog has launched ‘National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence‘.
  • Energy and Power utilization drive: India has made a significant improvement and through government initiatives now the utilization of power at each and every village is made possible in a time-bound manner.
  • Automobile Sector: India is popularising Electric vehicles due to multiple reasons: Eco-friendliness, cheaper fuel cost, lower maintenance expenses, etc.
  • There are around 15000 startups out of which 5000 are deep technology-based.
  • Department of Science and Technology recently launched a mission in Cyber-physical systems that would create human resources in the country.
  • India’s scientific publications are growing at 14% every year compared to the global average of 4%.

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