Shifting focus from innovation quantity to innovation quality remains a priority

innovation qualityAssessing the quality, rather than only the quantity, of innovation inputs and outputs has become an overarching concern to the innovation policy community.

The GII makes a modest attempt at measuring innovation quality by looking at 1) the quality of local universities (QS university ranking); 2) the internationalization of patented inventions (Patent families 2+ offices); and 3) the quality of scientific publications (Citable documents H-index).

Among the high-income economies, the U.S. regains the top rank—moving ahead of Japan, which moves down to 3rd this year. For the first time, Germany has moved up to 2nd.

The ranking of middle-income economies in these innovation quality indicators remains steady.

China, India, and the Russian Federation in the top 3 positions. Positioned 15th globally, China is the only middle-income economy that is closing the gap with the high-income group in all three indicators. India ranks 2nd among the middle-income economies. It has top positions in quality of universities and in quality of scientific publications.

With regards to the quality of universities, the U.S. and the U.K. occupy the top 2 positions in the GII 2019. They are followed by China, which takes the 3rd spot this year (moving up from the 5th position in 2018). In the middle-income group, China is followed by Malaysia and India, thanks to the high scores for their top universities. The Russian Federation, Mexico, and Brazil also appear in the top 10, due largely to the quality of their universities.

Regarding the quality of publications, rankings are rather stable with the U.S., the U.K., and Germany leading the GII rankings. Among middle-income economies, China takes the top position, followed by India.

Regarding international patents, European countries take seven of the top 10 positions. The three remaining spots go to Israel, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. Among the middle-income economies, China and South Africa take the top two positions, with India and Turkey registering improvements in this indicator.

innovation quality

Source: WIPO