The Consumer Technology Association has identified the 13 most innovation countries.
The Association is an American standards and trade organisation that represents the $351 billion U.S. consumer technology industry.
In its inaugural International Innovation Scorecard, the CTA identified Australia, New Zealand, Finland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, United States, Singapore, Netherlands, Canada, Portugal, Czech Republic, Austria, and Denmark as the 2018 Innovation Champions.
The global rankings were announced during the CTA’s keynote address at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.
The scorecard also identifies critical areas of national policy that spur innovation and reveals areas in which countries may be stunting their own economic growth.
The CTA’s president and CEO, Gary Shapiro, notes, “Our goal with the International Innovation Scorecard is to evaluate countries from a uniquely American perspective, to determine which countries have the best policies in place to allow innovators to create and introduce new and transformative technologies.”
“Innovation is both the heart and the product of the American Dream.”
Shapiro adds, “Today, more countries than ever see a similar dream within reach and are positioned to realise the benefits of innovation - through both their own nation’s successes and the collective progress of the world.”
“We congratulate all of this year’s Innovation Champions.”
The Scorecard uses several objective criteria including whether governments welcome disruptive business models and technologies including the sharing economy and self-driving vehicles; how friendly their tax systems are; how well they protect the environment; and issues of perennial importance such as broadband speed and cost.
The Scorecard also gauges countries on diversity; the ratio of female-to-male employees in the workplace in key age demographics; immigrants as a share of the national population; and freedom of thought and expression.
With this in mind, other key findings include:
The most diverse countries are - Australia, Canada, Singapore and Sweden
The countries with the greatest individual and political freedom in the world are - Canada, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Portugal
The countries that have, on average, the fastest and most affordable internet connections are - the United Kingdom, Finland, South Korea, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Austria and the Netherlands
The countries with the most educated workforces are - Singapore, Israel, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and New Zealand
The countries with the most innovation-friendly tax systems are - Singapore, China, Panama, Chile, Ireland and Canada
The countries with the greatest R&D spending as a percentage of GDP are - Israel, South Korea, Japan, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, and the United States
The countries with the highest level of entrepreneurial activity - are Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the United States, Singapore, Ireland and Sweden
The countries most fully enabling people and companies to test and deploy drone technologies - are Australia, Finland, Portugal, Singapore and Sweden
The countries that allow ridesharing to operate most freely are - Finland, Panama, Peru, Poland, Rwanda, South Africa and Mexico
The countries with cleanest water and air are - Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States
“The trend lines are clear. Innovation is encouraged where governments are hospitable to new ideas, where people enjoy great freedom and clean environments and where innovators are embraced,” adds Shapiro.
“Countries’ futures are tied to innovation, because it will bolster economic growth and provide future generations with the jobs they want.”
“Graduates entering the work force 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.”