When the 2013 Global Innovation Index (GII) 6th edition was released last week, there was a glimmer of hope that Canada was working its way back up on the global innovation scale. Canada fared one spot better than last year, but is still out of the Top 10 at #11 for 2013. Top 3 on the report were Switzerland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The GII, published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), uses 84 indicators to rate countries including:
Although Canada does not appear in the Top 10 overall, there are some positive points to the study. Canada has shown increasing advancement and investment in R&D through the past few years, even through years of crises in 2008 and 2009 when R&D expenditures declined significantly. One of the high points of the Index is Canada being in the Top 10 for Input Sub-Index. Other major milestones outlined in the report include:
On the downside, Canada’s Innovation Efficiency ratio ranked a disappointing 68th. Other areas that require improvement, or had no information available, included Ecological Sustainability, Tertiary Education and National Office Resident Trademark Registrations.
If Canada wants to be part of the Top 10 on the GII, changes still need to be made to how innovation is supported in Canada. Gross Expenditure on R&D was ranked 25th, which isn’t bad, but not enough to break into the top 10. Canada must continue to support R&D endeavors with funding programs including SR&ED and IRAP. Hopefully, Canada can continue to assist companies from the beginning stages all the way to seeing products go to market with the strong enough creative and financial backing to compete on the world stage.