Global Innovation Index 2020

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in cooperation with Cornell University and INSEAD, released the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020 with its main conclusions regarding the impact of the COVID-19 crises on the innovation developments and which countries are the leaders in innovation 2020.

I. How COVID-19 affects innovation

Basically, the COVID-19 crisis has not changed the general growth and  potential for new technologies and innovations. It is expected that  the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors are going to experience a remarkable upturn, with the focus on health. But also traditional sectors, such as education or tourism, must adjust to the new circumstances which can lead to a rise in innovation.

Many governments are setting up rescue packages to dampen the negative impact of the crisis on the economy. However, except for the health sector, other Research and Development (R&D) areas have not been made a priority in those packages. Because of this fact, the authors of the GII 2020 report advises leaders to expand their support for innovations for the post-COVID era, especially focussing on start-ups and small businesses.

II. Global distribution of innovations

The annual ranking of the countries in terms of innovation capacity and output shows stability at the top. The top three leaders of the innovation ranking are still Switzerland, Sweden and the United States of America which all belong  to the high-income group. But some Asian countries are in the ascendant. China, reaching 14th place, is the only upper middle-income country to be ranked in the top 20. But also, countries with lower middle-income economies such as India, the Philippines and Viet Nam have continuously made their way up in the ranking over the past years. All four are now in the top 50.

III. Germany in the GII 2020

According to the GII 2020 Index Germany ranks 9th, like in the past few years.  It is  among the countries with the highest investments in R&D and stands out with its high level and quality with respect to innovation. Regarding the new GII indicator implemented into the report, the “global brand value”, Germany takes the 11th place. It claims 149 of the world’s top 5,000 brands, even two of these brands fall within the top 25: Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.

IV. Cooperation in innovation is the key

In a nutshell: Most economies which climbed up in the ranking of the GII 2020 ranking are well integrated within various global innovation networks. In particular the search for a coronavirus vaccine has shown how important global cooperation is. As the WIPO Director General Francis said: “Innovations equal solutions.”

For more information please find the full report here: