According to the 11th edition of the Global Innovation Index 2018 (GII 2018) released in July 2018, Singapore is the most innovative country in the world outside Europe.

The Global Innovation Index is an annual ranking compiled by Cornell University in the US, the French business school INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The report measures countries based on 80 indicators from intellectual property filing rates and mobile-application creation to education spending and scientific and technical publications.

The GII 2018 ranks Singapore fifth worldwide, moving the city-nation up two spots from last year.  This fifth overall ranking nudges Singapore ahead of the United States and Denmark while retaining the top position in Asia with a score of 59.80. Ahead of Singapore in the rankings are Switzerland (68.40), the Netherlands (63.30), Sweden (63.10), and the United Kingdom (60.10).

The report noted that Singapore is relatively weak when it comes to expenditure on education, pupil-teacher ratios, environmental performance, productivity growth, and trade marks and industrial designs by origin. Apart from these areas for improvement, Singapore remains in first place globally for government effectiveness, regulatory quality and foreign direct investment outflows. Singapore is also a top performer for political stability and safety, market capitalisation, foreign direct investment inflows, high-and medium-high-tech manufacturing and high-tech net exports.

The Global Innovation Index 2018 report also hails Singapore as ‘A Living Lab for Renewable Energy’, a testament to Singapore’s success in creating a vibrant innovation ecosystem. From launching the world’s largest floating photovoltaic test bed to building the first industrial micro-grid test system in South East Asia, Singapore is demonstrating that it can be a ‘Living Lab’ for renewable energy innovators to test ideas. Beyond testing, innovators can leverage Singapore’s world-class legal framework, robust intellectual property regime, positive business environment, and extensive global networks to commercialise their innovative renewable energy ideas, transforming them into viable technologies for global markets.

Singapore has demonstrated how small countries can play an immense role in driving innovation. The ‘Living Lab’ concept can give significant value to small countries in enabling experimentation, innovation, and collaboration among global innovators, allowing them to rapidly develop, test, and deploy new technologies in innovation ecosystems.

Mr Daren Tang, chief executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, said in a statement: “Innovation is becoming a driving force in our economy and globally. The Global Innovation Index 2018 accolade supports the advancement of Singapore’s IP and innovation agenda. Being ranked fifth in a credible global study gives greater impetus for our enterprises and entrepreneurs to keep using innovation and leveraging their intangible assets to grow from Singapore to the world.”