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Missed the launch of the GII 2023 in September? Here’s a summary of the topics discussed and key findings!

October 24, 2023

The 2023 edition of the Global Innovation Index was released on September 27, 2023. Many eagerly awaited the release, with press coverage featuring the GII in more than 1,700 articles worldwide and surpassing over 120,000 downloads within the first week of the launch. The launch event served as a convergence point for distinguished ministers, visionary business leaders, and renowned innovation experts hailing from all corners of the globe. Together, they embarked on a collective journey to explore and deliberate upon the current state of global innovation amidst an environment of economic uncertainty.

Director General of WIPO, Daren Tang, opened the event with remarks on why this year’s GII theme is “Innovation in the face of uncertainty”. The innovation landscape is mixed. New and emerging technologies continue to provide significant opportunities. On the other hand, geopolitical and economic disruptions, high inflation, coupled with the lingering effects of high interest rates, are hampering global growth and innovation.

GII 2023, Daren Tang
(photo: WIpo)

Photo: Daren Tang, Director General, WIPO

Heads of State and Ministers responsible for innovation shared their country’s journeys on becoming innovation-driven societies. They delved into the pivotal role of the Global Innovation Index (GII) as a trusted instrument for shaping innovative policies, while also shedding light on the pressing contemporary challenges at the forefront of their innovation agendas.

GII 2023, Marco Aleman
(photo: WIpo)

Photo: Marco Alemán, Assistant Director General, WIPO

Key findings from the report were presented by the authors in a Q&A session lead by Marco Alemán, Assistant Director General and summarized below:

The Global Innovation Tracker observed a deterioration in the global environment for innovation finance but continued, if somewhat weak, growth in scientific publications and international patent filings. Technological progress continues to deliver new breakthroughs in computer efficiency, renewable energy is becoming more affordable and further cost declines in DNA sequencing, which are opening up new opportunities for global development. Certain technologies are slowly but surely being more widely adopted, making access to safe sanitation and broadband connectivity more widespread. However, overall penetration rates remain medium-to-low for most technology adoption indicators, and measures of the socioeconomic impact of innovation suggest weak, if not declining progress for the second year in a row.

GII 2023, Group Photo 1
(photo: WIpo)

Photo: Marco Alemán, Carsten Fink, Vanessa Behrens, Jeff Slee, Lorena Rivera León, Sacha Wunsch-Vincent and Davide Bonaglia. Watch the presentation of the GII 2023 key findings or flick through the slides.

The top five leading Science and Technology Clusters are all located in Asia, with Tokyo–Yokohama (Japan) leading once again. Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania has 37 clusters, with 24 being in China, marking the first year China passes the United States in total number of clusters ranking in the top 100. Many clusters also fall in Europe (29) and North America (25). “Innovation is taking place all over the world, and S&T clusters are playing a key role in pushing this innovation forward in a positive way” said Marco Alemán, Assistant Director General, WIPO.

This year’s GII 2023 ranking results find:

  • Switzerland, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore are the world’s most innovative economies in 2023.
  • Europe claims 16 of the top 25 spots.
  • Latin America hosts the most middle-income economies with unicorn companies, including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico.
  • Several middle-income economies continue to climb in the rankings, showing resilience. Namely, China, Türkiye, India, Viet Nam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • India, the Republic of Moldova, and Viet Nam continue to be record holders, performing above expectations relative to GDP for a 13th consecutive year.
  • The US tops the charts with 651 unicorn companies, with China and India following. Several startups that became unicorns in the last decade, such as SpaceX, ByteDance (TikTok), or OpenAI, have become giants in their industries.

The launch event also hosted a panel discussion on the report’s theme on “Innovation in the face of uncertainty”, revealing insights from experts on the future of innovation, and advice for supporting innovation performance in their country or region.

Remarks from the panelists:

The nations that are succeeding in innovation today have a clear national leadership vision, are promoting human capital growth through educational institutions, and investing heavily in digitalization.

Soumitra Dutta, Founder of the GII and Dean, Saïd Business School

In recent years we have seen shifts in investment trends towards socially responsible innovation, for example climate technologies. People are adjusting to the new normal post-pandemic, and investors are being more thoughtful about valuation.

Cecilia Zhao, Venture and Growth Investor, Kinnevik

For a while, innovation has been just about technology and IP, however, policymakers are increasingly noticing its social value and creating incentives for investors. The GII helps to demystify many aspects of innovation.

Tonny K Omwansa, CEO, Kenya National Innovation Agency

Governments must step up in building trustworthy innovation ecosystems that champion IP protection and can withstand environmental and social challenges and crises.

Maria Fernanda Garza, Chair, International Chamber of Commerce
GII 2023, Group Photo 2
(photo: WIpo)

Photo: Marco Alemán, Daren Tang, Cecilia Zhao, Soumitra Dutta, Tonny K Omwansa.