Abu Dhabi: The Kingdom of Bahrain has been ranked 4th among the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in terms of overall performance in the 2014 Global Innovation Index, published by Cornell University and the European Institute for Business Administration INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
The UAE tops the MENA region by improving two points from 38th global ranking in 2013 to 36th in 2014, followed by Saudi Arabia 38th global ranking (42nd in 2013), Qatar 47 global ranking in 2014 (43rd ranking in 2013) and the Kingdom of Bahrain had improved 5 points achieving 62nd position in 2014 from 67 in 2013 global ranking.
du hosted the Middle East and North Africa launch conference of the 2014 Global Innovation Index in the United Arab Emirates, in the presence of His Excellency Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, who delivered the opening speech of the conference.
The GII 2014 had surveyed 143 economies around the world, using 81 indicators–to gauge both their innovation capabilities and measurable results. Published annually since 2007, the GII is now a leading benchmarking tool for business executives, policy makers and others are seeking insight into the state of innovation around the world. This year’s study benefits from the experience of its Knowledge Partners: the Confederation of Indian Industry, du and Huawei, as well as of an Advisory Board of 14 international experts.
The GII creates an environment in which innovation factors are under continual evaluation, including the following features: 143 country profiles, including data, ranks and strengths and weaknesses on 81 indicators from over 30 international public and private sources, of which 56 are hard data, 20 composite indicators, and 5 survey questions. A transparent and replicable computation methodology including 90% confidence interval for each index ranking (GII, output and input sub-indices) and an analysis of factors affecting year-on-year changes in rankings
The GII 2014 is calculated as the average of two sub-indices. The Innovation Input Sub-Index gauges elements of the national economy which embody innovative activities grouped in five pillars which are Institutions, Human capital and research, Infrastructure, Market sophistication, and Business sophistication. On the other hand the Innovation Output Sub-Index captures actual evidence of innovation results, divided in two pillars: Knowledge and technology outputs and Creative outputs.
Amid a newly documented slowdown in the growth of global research and development, the theme of the Global Innovation Index 2014 is “The Human Factor in Innovation,” exploring the role of human capital in the innovation process and underlining the growing interest that firms and governments have shown in identifying and energizing creative individuals and teams.
“Innovation is a major contributor to economic growth and the key to economic success in a global economy, as well as the source of competitive advantage for industries and companies,” Francis Gurry, WIPO Director General, added.
“Countries in the Middle East are recognizing the importance of innovation. They are seeking to diversify their economies away from natural resources and towards knowledge intensive industries,” he added.
This year’s report highlights how the human factor of innovation largely explains which innovation champions remain at the top, and why some of the large emerging economies offer divergent innovation performances. A closer look at a collection of indicators that focus on education as a subset of human capital formation helps understand differences in innovation performance across regions and income groups.
Analysis of the GII results shows that the human factor is even more critical for innovation success in higher-income economies than in lower-income economies. It is likely that better educated citizens are more successful in higher-income economies in leveraging the favourable contexts (in business and markets) for driving innovation. It also suggests that, as a country moves up the scale of innovation sophistication, the quality of its talents (in science, engineering, but also in business and management for example) become even more critical.
Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director for Global Indices at INSEAD, and co-author of the report, stresses that ‘The talent dimension of innovation is particularly critical for MENA countries, whose young populations will require massive job creations in the years to come. Reliance on ‘imported skills’ (from expats and consultants) needs to diminish rapidly if those countries want to be able to generate a sustainable flow of local innovation. In this context, education serves as the key. While countries like Tunisia (25th in tertiary education), Lebanon (26th), and to some extent Oman (32nd) have traditionally scored high on tertiary education, and the spectacular results registered this year by the UAE and Qatar (respectively 1st and 9th) reflect the high priority they provided to education over the last decade.’