Israel has jumped 9 places to number 14 in the 2011 Global Innovation Index (GII). Coming from a rank of 23 last year, Israel flew past Australia – which fell from 18 in 2010 to 21 in 2011 – into the top 15 most innovative countries in the world, easily outranking the other Middle East and North Africa (MEA) countries, with number 27, Qatar, being the only other country from the region in the top 30.
The GII is a project led by international business academic institution INSEAD in collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent, Booz & Company, the Confederation of Indian Industry and a UN agency called the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The index measures the 125 most significant economies in the world and aims to determine how effectively they “implement new or significantly improved products, processes, marketing methods or organisational practices, workplace organisation or external relations.” This definition of “innovation” is deliberately broad in order to include innovations in sociological and business models, not merely scientific research and development.
The report said the following on Israel:
Israel tops the regional rankings on all three main indices, and is ranked 4th on Efficiency at the regional level. Israel’s strength comes from pillar 6, Scientific outputs (where it ranks 4th), with good showings in knowledge creation and knowledge diffusion (2nd and 8th). The country also scores within the top 10 on resident filings at the Patent Cooperation Treaty (4th), scientific and technical journal articles (1st), high-tech exports (8th), and computer and communications service exports (5th).
Other countries evaluated in the MEA region, with their respective rank, were the UAE at 34, Jordan at 41, Bahrain at 46, Lebanon at 49, Kuwait at 52, Saudi Arabia at 54, Oman at 57, Tunisia at 66, Egypt at 87, Morocco at 94, Iran at 95, Syria at 115, Yemen at 123 and Algeria at 125.