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The Best Countries for Innovation: A Fascinating View with a Few Surprises

Posted By Chris Chiappinelli, June 22, 2012 at 7:51 AM, in Category: Industrial Policy

As part of its Ideas Rountable, The Atlantic recently published the Innovation Barometer 2012, a GE-sponsored survey of 2,800 business executives from around the world. The resulting infographic on innovation provides a fascinating comparison of the differences in perception between members of developed nations and citizens of emerging countries, as well as the nuances among certain countries.

The differences follow some expected lines. The pace of innovation in emerging economies is considered adequate, while the pace of innovation in developed economies is significantly less likely to be deemed sufficient. The developing world may be innovating quicker, the survey found, but companies there are less likely to consider their countries' IP protection robust.

The survey focused on Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. Country by country, here are some of the most intriguing findings:

  • In Brazil, the speed of innovation is considered good, but protecting innovations looks to be a real challenge. The country ranked lowest in terms of satisfaction with IP protection.
  • China showed up in the middle of the pack in terms of speedy innovation. It ranked ranked third best in terms of adequate protection of innovation. This makes me wonder whether the standard here is the protection of home-grown goods only.We all know that foreign companies have been battling for years for more protection of their IP in China.
  • Nowhere does innovation move more slowly than in Germany, the survey found, although IP safeguards in that country are perceived as strong. Japan's profile for the speed and protection of innovation looks almost identical to Germany's. 
  • Intellectual property in the United States is regarded as safer than it is in most other countries.
  • For companies interested in rapid innovation and strong protections on intellectual property, one country stands head and shoulders above the rest: Israel.

It all begs the question, would you rather operate in a location where innovation can be achieved quickly, or where it can be adequately protected once it is achieved?

Share your thoughts.

Category: Industrial Policy
Written by Chris Chiappinelli

Chris Chiappinelli is the online research manager for Manufacturing Leadership. He covers enterprise software, sustainability, economic trends, workforce issues, and emerging technologies.


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