Global Innovation Index 2021: Switzerland (1st Rank), USA(3rd), UK(4th), China(14th), India(46th) and Russia(45th)

 Switzerland topped the league table, followed by Sweden, the US and the UK, said the report by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). China (14th rank)  is still the only middle-income economy that makes it to the top 30. India has improved its ranking in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021 to 46th place, up from 48 in the previous year’s ranking.


The Global Innovation Index 2021 (GII) 14th edition is published by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Findings of the Global innovation index 2021

The Global Innovation Index 2021 (GII), in its 14th edition this year, is published by WIPO, in partnership with the Portulans Institute and with the support of our corporate partners: the Brazilian National Confederation of Industry (CNI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Ecopetrol (Colombia), and the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM).

Northern America and Europe continue to lead the global innovation landscape as regions by far. Switzerland, Sweden, U.S., and U.K. continue to lead the innovation ranking, and have all ranked in the top 5 in the past three years. The Republic of Korea joins the top 5 of the GII for the first time in 2021, while four other Asian economies feature in the top 15: Singapore (8), China (12), Japan (13) and Hong Kong, China (14). The GII shows that only a few economies, mostly high income, consistently dominate the ranks. China is still the only middle-income economy that makes it to the top 30.

USA: The U.S. keeps its 3rd place for the third consecutive year. The U.S. leads in key metrics such as patents by origin, the quality of its universities and the impact of its scientific publications and in R&D intensive global companies. It also hosts the largest number (24) of top science and technology clusters in the world.

Europe: Sixteen of the GII leaders in the top 25 are European countries, with seven of them ranking in the top 10. 

South East Asia, East Asia, and Oceania: Five economies are world innovation leaders: the Republic of Korea (5), Singapore (8), China (12), Japan (13), and Hong Kong, China (14). 

China since 2013 has moved steadily up the GII ranking, establishing itself as a global innovation leader while approaching the top 10. It boasts 19 of the top science and technology clusters worldwide - with Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou and Beijing in the 2nd and 3rd spots, respectively.

Central and Southern Asia: India (46) leads the region and has consistently gone up the ranks since 2015, after making it into the top 50 in 2020. 

India has improved its ranking in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021 to 46th place among 132 economies, up from 48 in the previous year’s ranking. It continues to hold world leadership in the ICT services exports indicator, and holds top ranks in others such as domestic industry diversification and graduates in science and engineering. Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai are in the top 100 science and technology clusters. India attributed its improved performance due to the pivotal role played by the Department of Atomic Energy, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Biotechnology and the Department of Space. "The consistent improvement in the GII ranking is owing to the immense knowledge capital, the vibrant start-up ecosystem, and the amazing work done by the public and the private research organizations,” Niti Aayog, the government’s think tank, said in a statement. Niti Aayog, in partnership with lobby group Confederation of Indian Industries and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, will virtually host the India launch of the GII and the Global Innovation Conclave on September 21-22.

The Islamic Republic of Iran (60) and Kazakhstan (79) follow.

Northern Africa and Western Asia: Israel (15) Israel leads in R&D expenditures, venture capital deals and PCT patents.Turkey (41) makes a big jump into the top 50 and continues to systematically catch up.

How is the global innovation index calculated?

The core of the GII provides performance measures and ranks 132 economies on their innovation ecosystems. The Index is the collection of 81 indicators from international public and private sources. For each economy a one-page profile is produced in which that economy’s performance on all indicators is recorded, relative to all other economies in the Index.

WIPO’s criteria to measure innovation cover institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, credit, investment, linkages, creation, absorption and diffusion of knowledge, and creative outputs.

The GII 2021 is calculated as the average of two sub-indices. The Innovation Input Sub-Index gauges elements of the economy that enable and facilitate innovative activities and is grouped in five pillars: (1) Institutions, (2) Human capital and research, (3) Infrastructure, (4) Market sophistication, and (5) Business sophistication. The Innovation Output Sub-Index captures the actual result of innovative activities within the economy and is divided in two pillars: (6) Knowledge and technology outputs and (7) Creative outputs. The index is submitted to an independent statistical audit by the European Commission, Joint Research Centre.