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T&T drops five spots in Innovation Index

Published: 
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Dr Balraj Kistow

This country has dropped five spots on the 2018 Global Innovation Index Rankings (GII) and now ranks at 96 out of 126 countries.

Last year, T&T ranked 91 on the GII which is co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), a specialised agency of the United Nations. In the current ratings, out of 100 this country scored 26.75, down from a score of 29.7 last year.

The fact that the efficient ratio came down from .60 to .43, means T&T is underperforming given its level of development, said Dr Balraj Kistow, lecturer and programme director at the Arthur Lol Jack Global School of Business, when he announced the rankings yesterday.

He said at a global level Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom ranked as the top four countries. Switzerland has held the top spot since 2014. The top 15 countries are mostly high income countries mainly from Europe. Latin America and the Caribbean scored an average of 30 out of 100, ranking just above Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the report, this country showed difficulty in converting high income into outputs.

“Among high-income countries, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, and also Hungary stand out for producing many outputs for their given level of inputs. Singapore, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong (China), Canada, New Zealand, and Norway, as well as many resource-rich economies such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Trinidad and Tobago stand out as high-income economies that—assuming that both inputs and outputs are properly measured—tend to perform worse,” the report said.

T&T was also one of the countries with the most missing values in the study, meaning there is need for proper data collection.

“Despite requiring minimum levels of coverage, for several economies the number of missing data points remains very high,” the study said.

Kistow said this is not the first time international bodies were unable to properly source data from T&T.

However, this country is still ranked as one of the three high-income economies in the Caribbean and Latin American region—the others are Chile and Uruguay. T&T also showed strengths in terms of innovation linkages and ease of getting credit.

Weaknesses were noted in the areas of research and development, growth of personal purchasing parity/GDP per worker, ecological sustainability and general infrastructure.

“Innovation is now widely recognised as a central driver of economic growth and development. The Global Innovation Index (GII) aims to capture the multi-dimensional facets of innovation by providing a rich database of detailed metrics for 126 economies, which represent 90.8 per cent of the world’s population and 96.3 per cent of global GDP.

“Today a wide range of high-, medium-, and low-income countries are using the GII as a tool for action to improve innovation performance—often at the prime ministerial and ministerial level, and often with specific cross-ministerial task forces comprising a large variety of relevant innovation stakeholders,” the report said.

The 2018 report is the 11th edition of the GII and is dedicated to the theme of energy innovation. It analyses the energy innovation landscape of the next decade and identifies possible breakthroughs in fields such as energy production, storage, distribution, and consumption.

Former Finance Minister and CEO of Eastern Credit Union Conrad Enill, commenting on the rankings, said corporate innovation is also important, especially when faced with disruption.

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