Despite COVID-19 Pandemic Progress in Innovation Continues

Despite the economic damage caused by COVID-19, the new technology industry continued to develop and prosper last year, according to a new report released by the UN’s intellectual property agency on Monday. 

According to the latest findings of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Global Innovation Index (GII), governments and businesses in many parts of the world have increased their investments in innovation, demonstrating a recognition that new ideas are critical to overcoming the pandemic. 

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) cautioned, however, that the crisis’ impact has been highly uneven among industries and countries. 

Only a few economies, usually high-income economies, consistently dominate the ranks, according to the GII’s yearly assessment of the world’s economies on innovation capability and output. 

For the first time in 2021, the Republic of Korea joined Switzerland, Sweden, the United States, and the United Kingdom in the top five of the GII, while four other Asian economies rank in the top fifteen: Singapore (8), China (12), Japan (13) and Hong Kong, China (14). 

Selected middle-income economies, such as Turkey, Vietnam, India, and the Philippines, are catching up, and progress gained by France (11) and China (12) last year has been confirmed, as both are now vying for a spot in the GII top 10. 

According to a new GII feature called the Global Innovation Tracker, the technology, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries expanded their investments and research and development (R&D) activities during the pandemic. 

Mr. Wunsch-Vincent stated that top technology companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Huawei raised investment by an average of 10% last year, and venture capital investment climbed by a similar amount, a trend that is expected to continue this year. 

The transportation and travel sectors, on the other hand, were hard struck by cost-cutting measures and had to reduce their spending. The GII 2021 also demonstrates that technological advancement at the frontier has significant promise, with the quick development of COVID-19 vaccines serving as the most prominent example. 

The index ranks 132 nations, as well as sub-economies like Hong Kong, and comes a year after the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) revealed that investments in innovation hit a new high in 2019, with an average yearly profit of 8.5 percent. 

Although Northern America and Europe continue to lead the global innovation scene, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania have been the most active in the last decade and are the only regions that have closed the gap with the leaders. 

China remains the only middle-income country in the top 30 economies, according to the survey. The top 50 countries include Bulgaria (35), Malaysia (36), Turkey (41), Thailand (43), Vietnam (44), the Russian Federation (45), India (46), Ukraine (49), and Montenegro (50). Only Turkey, Vietnam, India, and the Philippines are catching up. Outside of China, these major economies have the potential to reshape the global innovation landscape for the better. 

These developing economies have been able to successfully complement local innovation with foreign technology transfer, generate technologically dynamic services that can be traded internationally, and shape more balanced innovation frameworks, among other things.