13 countries earned the designation of “2018 Innovation Champion” by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) as part of its inaugural International Innovation Scorecard. The CTA conducted a comparative analysis of 38 countries and the European Union against 25 indicators in 12 categories resulting in a global ranking of countries for innovation.
The United States ranked fifth and was surpassed by: Finland in first, followed by the United Kingdom, Australia and Sweden.
In a recent press statement Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA emphasized the important role innovation has in the health of a country and its workforce, saying “Countries’ futures are tied to innovation, because it will bolster economic growth and provide future generations with the jobs they want. Graduates entering the workforce today don’t necessarily want to stay in the factory jobs of previous generations – they want to use their creativity and curiosity to build brighter futures worldwide.”
A listing of all 38 countries and the EU and a breakout of the category ratings that each of the 38 countries received provides insight about how the composite score determined the rankings. The countries were evaluated as to:
- how governments welcome disruptive business models and technologies such as the sharing economy and self-driving vehicles
- the friendliness of their tax systems
- their commitment to protecting the environment
- the availability of broadband speed and its cost
- the diversity seen through the ratio of female-to-male employees in the workplace in key age demographics and immigrants as a share of the national population, and
- freedom of thought and expression.
For example, a country such as Finland had a comparatively low score for Diversity, but ranked much higher for R&D investment.
Entrepreneurial Activity was also one of the ranking categories. Each country was assessed as to how easy it is to start a new business based on four indicators of equal weight:
- The Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute’s Global Entrepreneurship Index,
- The World Bank’s “Doing Business: Entrepreneurship” report,
- The yearly rate of new businesses created per 1,000 people aged 15-64, and
- The number of “unicorn” business per 10 million people in population, drawn from Pitchbook, CB Insights and Crunchbase data.
The CTA chose the roster of countries based on two guidelines: “the government must be able to influence public policy; and publicly available, verifiable and independent third-party data must exist and can be compared with different nations”. The CTA expects to expand the roster in future Scorecards.
The Scorecard overall reveals national policies that are spurring innovation, while conversely bringing to the forefront areas that are not being addressed by government which are dampening economic growth. A country is typically on a positive innovation trend when its’ government is encouraging innovation, has areas hospitable to new ideas, the people enjoy great freedom and clean environments, and innovators are being embraced.