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Ranked: The Most Innovative Countries in 2023

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Ranked: The Most Innovative Countries in 2023

The Most Innovative Countries in the World in 2023

Which countries are the global innovation powerhouses?

In many ways, the past year has represented an inflection point in technological advancement. Almost overnight, OpenAI’s large language model ChatGPT became a household name and AI was within reach to the masses.

Yet looking under the surface, innovation is influenced by several unseen factors, from the institutional environment and high-tech exports to research talent and entrepreneurship culture.

This graphic shows the most innovative countries in the world, based on the 2023 Global Innovation Index (GII) put together by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

How is Innovation Measured?

The GII framework uses seven pillars and 80 indicators to assess a country’s innovative strength:

Innovation PillarExample Indicators
👨‍💻 Knowledge & Tech OutputsPatent applications, Hi-tech manufacturing
👩‍🏫 Human Capital & ResearchResearchers per million population, Global corporate R&D investors
🧳 Business SophisticationKnowledge-intensive employment, University-industry R&D collaboration
📈 Market SophisticationFinance for startups, Venture capital received
💡 Creative OutputsTrademark applications, Global brand value
🛣️ InfrastructureEnvironmental performance, Information and communication technology access
🏛️ InstitutionsRegulatory quality, Policies for doing business

Together, the sum of these pillars produces an overall score for each country.

Most Innovative Countries in 2023

For the 13th consecutive year, Switzerland was named the world’s most innovative country.

Among the key factors underscoring its rank are its policies for doing business and its scale of patent applications. Its world-class research institutions and skilled workforce are also key ingredients in fostering innovation.

Below, we show the most innovative countries in 2023 across 132 economies:

RankCountryScore
1🇨🇭 Switzerland67.6
2🇸🇪 Sweden64.2
3🇺🇸 U.S.63.5
4🇬🇧 UK62.4
5🇸🇬 Singapore61.5
6🇫🇮 Finland61.2
7🇳🇱 Netherlands60.4
8🇩🇪 Germany58.8
9🇩🇰 Denmark58.7
10🇰🇷 South Korea58.6
11🇫🇷 France56.0
12🇨🇳 China55.3
13🇯🇵 Japan54.6
14🇮🇱 Israel54.3
15🇨🇦 Canada53.8
16🇪🇪 Estonia53.4
17🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR53.3
18🇦🇹 Austria53.2
19🇳🇴 Norway50.7
20🇮🇸 Iceland50.7
21🇱🇺 Luxembourg50.6
22🇮🇪 Ireland50.4
23🇧🇪 Belgium49.9
24🇦🇺 Australia49.7
25🇲🇹 Malta49.1
26🇮🇹 Italy46.6
27🇳🇿 New Zealand46.6
28🇨🇾 Cyprus46.3
29🇪🇸 Spain45.9
30🇵🇹 Portugal44.9
31🇨🇿 Czech Republic44.8
32🇦🇪 UAE43.2
33🇸🇮 Slovenia42.2
34🇱🇹 Lithuania42.0
35🇭🇺 Hungary41.3
36🇲🇾 Malaysia40.9
37🇱🇻 Latvia39.7
38🇧🇬 Bulgaria39.0
39🇹🇷 Türkiye38.6
40🇮🇳 India38.1
41🇵🇱 Poland37.7
42🇬🇷 Greece37.5
43🇹🇭 Thailand37.1
44🇭🇷 Croatia37.1
45🇸🇰 Slovakia36.2
46🇻🇳 Vietnam36.0
47🇷🇴 Romania34.7
48🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia34.5
49🇧🇷 Brazil33.6
50🇶🇦 Qatar33.4
51🇷🇺 Russia33.3
52🇨🇱 Chile33.3
53🇷🇸 Serbia33.1
54🇲🇰 North Macedonia33.0
55🇺🇦 Ukraine32.8
56🇵🇭 Philippines32.2
57🇲🇺 Mauritius32.1
58🇲🇽 Mexico31.0
59🇿🇦 South Africa30.4
60🇲🇩 Moldova30.3
61🇮🇩 Indonesia30.3
62🇮🇷 Iran30.1
63🇺🇾 Uruguay30.0
64🇰🇼 Kuwait29.9
65🇬🇪 Georgia29.9
66🇨🇴 Colombia29.4
67🇧🇭 Bahrain29.1
68🇲🇳 Mongolia28.8
69🇴🇲 Oman28.4
70🇲🇦 Morocco28.4
71🇯🇴 Jordan28.2
72🇦🇲 Armenia28.0
73🇦🇷 Argentina28.0
74🇨🇷 Costa Rica27.9
75🇲🇪 Montenegro27.8
76🇵🇪 Peru27.7
77🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina27.1
78🇯🇲 Jamaica27.1
79🇹🇳 Tunisia26.9
80🇧🇾 Belarus26.8
81🇰🇿 Kazakhstan26.7
82🇺🇿 Uzbekistan26.2
83🇦🇱 Albania25.4
84🇵🇦 Panama25.3
85🇧🇼 Botswana24.6
86🇪🇬 Egypt24.2
87🇧🇳 Brunei23.5
88🇵🇰 Pakistan23.3
89🇦🇿 Azerbaijan23.3
90🇱🇰 Sri Lanka23.3
91🇨🇻 Cabo Verde23.3
92🇱🇧 Lebanon23.2
93🇸🇳 Senegal22.5
94🇩🇴 Dominican Republic22.4
95🇸🇻 El Salvador21.8
96🇳🇦 Namibia21.8
97🇧🇴 Bolivia21.4
98🇵🇾 Paraguay21.4
99🇬🇭 Ghana21.3
100🇰🇪 Kenya21.2
101🇰🇭 Cambodia20.8
102🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago20.7
103🇷🇼 Rwanda20.6
104🇪🇨 Ecuador20.5
105🇧🇩 Bangladesh20.2
106🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan20.2
107🇲🇬 Madagascar19.1
108🇳🇵 Nepal18.8
109🇳🇬 Nigeria18.4
110🇱🇦 Laos18.3
111🇹🇯 Tajikistan18.3
112🇨🇮 Côte d’Ivoire18.2
113🇹🇿 Tanzania17.4
114🇹🇬 Togo16.9
115🇳🇮 Nicaragua16.9
116🇭🇳 Honduras16.7
117🇿🇼 Zimbabwe16.5
118🇿🇲 Zambia16.4
119🇩🇿 Algeria16.1
120🇧🇯 Benin16.0
121🇺🇬 Uganda16.0
122🇬🇹 Guatemala15.8
123🇨🇲 Cameroon15.3
124🇧🇫 Burkina Faso14.5
125🇪🇹 Ethiopia14.3
126🇲🇿 Mozambique13.6
127🇲🇷 Mauritania13.5
128🇬🇳 Guinea13.3
129🇲🇱 Mali12.9
130🇧🇮 Burundi12.5
131🇳🇪 Niger12.4
132🇦🇴 Angola10.3

For full methodology notes on which economies are included in the report, see the bottom of the article.

Sweden ranked second, rising above the U.S. this year. The country excelled in business sophistication, knowledge-intensive employment, and researchers per capita.

While the U.S. ranked third overall, it saw the highest scores in venture capital received, global corporate research and development (R&D) investors, and total unicorn value. Of the 1,206 global unicorns as of April 2023, the U.S. was home to 54% of the total.

Most Innovative Countries 2019 to 2023

At fifth overall, Singapore ranked the highest in Asia. As both a financial hub and global innovator, Singapore ranked strongly on government effectiveness, venture capital received, and stability for business. It has the highest venture funding per capita in the world.

Brazil (49th) ranked highest in Latin America, while Mauritius (57th) was the top-ranking country in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Top 25 Science & Technology Clusters

Here are the top science and technology (S&T) clusters per capita, based on the density of scientific authors and inventors in a geographic location:

2023 RankingCluster EconomyTop ApplicantTop Scientific Organization
1Cambridge🇬🇧 UKARMCambridge University
2San Jose–
San Francisco
🇺🇸 U.S.GoogleStanford University
3Oxford🇬🇧 UKOxford UniversityOxford University
4Eindhoven🇳🇱 NetherlandsPhilips ElectronicsEindhoven University
of Technology
5Boston–
Cambridge
🇺🇸 U.S.MITMIT
6Daejeon🇰🇷 South KoreaLG ChemKAIST
7Ann Arbor🇺🇸 U.S.University of MichiganUniversity of Michigan
8San Diego🇺🇸 U.S.QualcommUniversity of California
San Diego
9Seattle🇺🇸 U.S.MicrosoftUniversity of Washington
Seattle
10Munich🇩🇪 GermanyBMWTechnical University
of Munich
11Kanazawa🇯🇵 JapanFujitsuKanazawa University
12Raleigh🇺🇸 U.S.Duke UniversityDuke University
13Göteborg🇸🇪 SwedenLM EricssonUniversity of Gothenburg
14Beijing🇨🇳 ChinaBOE TechnologyTsinghua University
15Stockholm🇸🇪 SwedenLM EricssonKarolinska Institutet
16Helsinki🇫🇮 FinlandNokiaUniversity of Helsinki
17Zürich🇨🇭 SwitzerlandETH ZürichETH Zürich
18Tokyo–Yokohama🇯🇵 JapanMitsubishi ElectricUniversity of Tokyo
19Basel🇨🇭 Switzerland, Denmark, FranceDSM IP AssetsUniversity of Basel
20Copenhagen🇩🇰 DenmarkNovo NordiskUniversity of Copenhagen
21Nuremberg–Erlangen🇩🇪 GermanySiemensUniversity of Erlangen
Nuremberg
22Stuttgart🇩🇪 GermanyRobert BoschEberhard Karls
University of Tübingen
23Minneapolis🇺🇸 U.S.3M Innovative PropertiesUniversity of Minnesota
Twin Cities
24Pittsburgh🇺🇸 U.S.University of PittsburghUniversity of Pittsburgh
25Seoul🇰🇷 South KoreaSamsung ElectronicsSeoul National University

As the top S&T cluster by intensity, Cambridge produced 37,000 articles per million people. Its top applicant, ARM, is a semiconductor company working closely with Cambridge University. Over 130 billion devices globally have used chips based on ARM’s designs.

The San Jose-San Francisco cluster ranked second, with Google as the top applicant. In 2022, the U.S. granted Google’s parent company Alphabet 2,077 patents.

South Korea’s Daejeon cluster is the top in Asia, led by battery maker LG Chem. In 2022, over 49,000 domestic and overseas patents were registered. In fact, both Honda and GM are partnering with LG Chem to build multi-billion dollar battery factories in Ohio over the next few years.

As we can see, many of the world’s most innovative countries have strong clusters that attract tech firms, researchers, and knowledge-intensive workers due to a host of factors that support disruption and tech advancement.

These tech clusters have a powerful effect on creating innovations that extend across multiple sectors of the economy, and the wider global landscape.

Where Does This Data Come From?

Source: World Intellectual Property Organization Global Innovation Index (2023).

Note: The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an agency of the United Nations. It includes 190 UN member states, as well as three non-members: the Cook Islands, Holy See, and Niue.

Countries that are not a part of the WIPO include three UN-recognized countries—the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and South Sudan—as well as other non-members including Taiwan.

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Mapped: The World’s Top 50 Science and Technology Hubs

This map explores the world’s top 50 science and technology hubs based on the Global Innovation Index 2023 data.

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This map explores the world’s top 50 science and technology clusters, based on data from the Global Innovation Index 2023.

The World’s Top 50 Science and Technology Hubs

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

In 2023, the world experienced another wave of science and technology (S&T) innovation, from the introduction of the first over-the-counter birth control pill in the U.S. to the stunning growth of ChatGPT and artificial intelligence.

This map explores the world’s top 50 science and technology hubs leading these innovations based on data from the Global Innovation Index 2023. Hubs were ranked by their combined share of international patent applications and scientific publications.

East Asia Dominance in S&T

The world’s five most significant science and technology hubs are in East Asia.

The top-ranked Tokyo-Yokohama cluster made up just over 10% of all patent applications between 2018-2022.

ClusterCountry/EconomyPatent ApplicationsScientific Publications
Tokyo-Yokohama🇯🇵 Japan127,418115,020
Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou🇨🇳/🇭🇰 China/Hong Kong113,482153,180
Seoul🇰🇷 South Korea63,447133,604
Beijing🇨🇳 China38,067279,485
Shanghai-Suzhou🇨🇳 China32,924162,635
San Jose-San Francisco🇺🇸 U.S.47,26958,575
Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto🇯🇵 Japan38,41351,948
Boston-Cambridge🇺🇸 U.S.18,18476,378
San Diego🇺🇸 U.S.23,26120,928
New York City🇺🇸 U.S.13,83874,849
Nanjing🇨🇳 China7,143113,488
Paris🇫🇷 France15,17661,692
Wuhan🇨🇳 China6,25089,756
Hangzhou🇨🇳 China10,75562,924
Nagoya🇯🇵 Japan17,73616,091
Los Angeles,🇺🇸 U.S.11,55644,058
Washington, DC–Baltimore🇺🇸 U.S.5,52576,039
Daejeon🇰🇷 South Korea12,27525,552
Xi'an🇨🇳 China1,78686,937
London🇬🇧 Great Britain5,98159,068
Seattle🇺🇸 U.S.11,47220,322
Munich🇩🇪 Germany10,24824,239
Qingdao🇨🇳 China7,28639,745
Chengdu🇨🇳 China2,04667,334
Cologne🇩🇪 Germany7,46634,286
Amsterdam–Rotterdam🇳🇱 Netherlands4,23052,864
Taipei–Hsinchu🇹🇼 Taiwan3,90752,752
Houston🇺🇸 U.S.8,47524,636
Stuttgart🇩🇪 Germany9,34214,874
Tel Aviv–Jerusalem🇮🇱 Israel7,26824,219
Moscow🇷🇺 Russia2,03655,086
Chicago🇺🇸 U.S.5,76332,343
Singapore🇸🇬/🇲🇾 Singapore/Malaysia4,86136,803
Tehran🇮🇷 Iran24963,113
Philadelphia🇺🇸 U.S.5,39032,309
Tianjin🇨🇳 China1,26753,680
Changsha🇨🇳 China1,14952,768
Stockholm🇸🇪 Sweden6,06919,984
Minneapolis🇺🇸 U.S.6,62515,375
Hefei🇨🇳 China2,54938,974
Eindhoven🇳🇱 Netherlands7,9825,339
Melbourne🇦🇺 Australia2,12640,056
Berlin🇩🇪 Germany3,62430,464
Chongqing🇨🇳 China1,65141,412
Frankfurt am Main🇩🇪 Germany5,41018,590
Sydney🇦🇺 Australia2,53933,695
Raleigh🇺🇸 U.S.3,05730,206
Madrid🇪🇸 Spain1,58038,849
Zürich🇨🇭 Switzerland3,75924,437
Milan🇮🇹 Italy2,57831,077

The first American cluster on the list, the San Francisco Bay Area, is home to major tech companies such as Adobe, eBay, Google, and PayPal.

Along with Cambridge in the United Kingdom, the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most S&T-intensive clusters relative to overall population density.

For the first time, China topped the list of countries with the highest number of clusters among the top 100, having 24 total. The United States follows, with 21 clusters, then Germany with nine.

In addition, nearly every Chinese cluster rose in the rankings compared to last year, with only Beijing falling by one place.

São Paulo (Brazil); Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, and Mumbai (India); Tehran (Islamic Republic of Iran); Istanbul and Ankara (Türkiye); and Moscow (Russian Federation) are the only middle-income economy clusters outside China.

According to the Global Innovation Index, the U.S. leads in research and development (R&D) expenditure, followed by China, Japan, Germany, and the Republic of Korea.

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