January 22, 2016

Finland’s policies make greatest impact on global innovation

The report found Finland to have the highest number of scientific researchers per capita in the world.
The report found Finland to have the highest number of scientific researchers per capita in the world.
MARKUS SOMMERS / TEKES

A new report looking at how countries’ economic and trade policies support innovation worldwide has ranked Finland first.

Global technology policy think tank the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) assessed a total of 56 countries, which together make up almost 90 per cent of the world’s economy.

In the report, entitled Contributors and Detractors: Ranking Countries Impact on Global Innovation, each country was scrutinised via 27 indicators. Of these, 14 “contributors” were grouped into three categories: taxes, human capital and R&D and technology.

Finland was found to have the highest number of scientific researchers per capita, doubling the concentration of researchers of many of its European neighbours. The Nordic nation also has the third highest ‘government country expenditures’ on R&D per capita.

Meanwhile, 13 inhibiting “detractors” were categorised under the headings of balkanized production markets, IP protection and balkanized consumer markets. With these in mind, Finland’s policies were deemed to do the least harm to the global innovation system.

Overall, a strong correlation was found between countries’ contributions to global innovation and their levels of innovation success.

Sweden and the United Kingdom rounded out the top three positions of the report. At the other end of the scale were India, Indonesia and Argentina.

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