Nigeria ranks 120th on innovation index

By The Citizen

Nigeria ranked 120 out of 142 countries on the 2013 Global Innovation Index, which measured countries' innovation capabilities and how they drove economic growth and prosperity.

In this year's edition of the survey published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Nigeria scored 26.6 per cent, a two-point improvement on last year when it scored 24.6 and was placed 123rd.

Despite the slight improvement, Nigeria's scores in different criteria were dismal.

Under institutions (political stability, government effectiveness, press freedom etc), it was placed 129th; under human capital and research it was placed 140th; while it was placed 133rd under infrastructure.

Nigeria was placed 134th under business sophistication; 114th under knowledge and technology output and 74th under creative output.

On the index, Switzerland retained its first position, Sweden was second, while the United Kingdom moved up to the third position from fifth last year.

Others among the top 10 were The Netherlands, United States of America, Finland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Denmark and Ireland, in that order.

Nigeria was placed 19th among African countries, with Mauritius, South Africa and Uganda taking the first, second and third positions respectively.

According to a press statement that announced the release of the report on Monday, the GII 2013 looked at 142 economies around the world, using 84 indicators including the quality of top universities, availability of microfinance, venture capital deals - gauging both innovation capabilities and measurable results.

It said, 'Despite the economic crisis, innovation is alive and well. Research and development spending levels are surpassing 2008 levels in most countries and successful local hubs are thriving. A group of dynamic middle- and low-income countries - including China, Costa Rica, India, and Senegal - are outpacing their peers, but haven't broken into the top of the GII 2013 leader board.

'This year's report casts additional light on the local dynamics of innovation, an area which has remained under-measured globally. It shows the emergence of original innovation eco-systems, and signals a needed shift from a usual tendency to try and duplicate previously successful initiatives.'

According to the statement, the Senior Partner and leader of the Global Engineered Products & Services Practice at Booz & Company, Barry Jaruzelski, said, 'Underperforming countries can boost their innovation capabilities by developing hubs in which large companies, whose business goals are aligned with the objectives of the innovation hub, can play a key catalyst role.

'Enterprise champions, including state-owned enterprises, family-owned conglomerates, and multinational corporations, can be the critical drivers of innovation hub activities. These enterprise champions can facilitate the building of hub capabilities and their talent pools by stimulating innovation and by helping to bridge the gap between research and commercial success.'