Israel retained the 10th spot in the 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index published Tuesday, coming in first in two key categories in the annual survey, namely R&D intensity and research concentration.
The Bloomberg Innovation Index ranks the world’s 50 most innovative countries using seven criteria including research and development expenditure as a percentage of GDP, productivity, patent activity, concentration of researchers, including postgraduate PhD students, engaged in R&D per 1 million people, and concentration of high-tech companies.
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Israel took the 10th spot for the second year running, while South Korea and Sweden maintained their first and second rankings, respectively. Notably, the US dropped out of the top 10 this year, taking the 11th spot, though it ranked first in high-tech density.
Also in the top 10 are Singapore at No.3, Japan at No.6 and France in 9th place. The least innovative countries, according to the Bloomberg index, were Morroco at 50, Iran at 49 and South Africa at 48.
Israel was the only country to beat South Korea in the R&D intensity category and overcame Denmark in the research concentration criteria. Israel’s other rankings were more lackluster, with a score of 41 in the tertiary education efficiency category which measures the share of new science and engineering graduates in the labor force and those enrolled in post-secondary education program, and a rank of 27 in the manufacturing value-added category.
Meanwhile, in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2017-2018, which ranks countries’ competitiveness based on 12 categories, including innovation, technological readiness, business sophistication and higher education, Israel dropped from 2nd place in the innovation category for the 2016-2017 survey to 3rd, while Switzerland retained the top spot. The US bumped Israel from its spot in the previous survey, taking second place this year.
Overall, Israel came in 16th in the overall survey of 137 countries, up from 24 in the previous one, and ranked 7th and 11th in the technological readiness and financial market development categories, respectively. Among the “most problematic factors for doing business,” Israel received a high score for inefficient government bureaucracy and tax rates.
And in the latest edition of the prestigious Global Innovation Index, published in June 2017, Israel came in 17th, up from 21st in the previous index. In this survey too, Switzerland came in first, for the seventh consecutive year, with Sweden 2nd and the Netherlands 3rd. Israel ranked first in the North Africa and Western Asia region, with Cyprus in 2nd place and the United Arab Emirates in 3rd.
Israel also ranked first in a number of categories including gross expenditure on R&D, venture capital deals – sharing the top spot with Canada, France and the US – amount of researchers per 1 million people, research talent in business enterprise, and telecommunications, computers, and information services exports, sharing that rank with Costa Rica, India, and Ireland.