The UAE ranks 38th on the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2013 for its achievements in the socio-economic spheres.
In the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, the nation is leading in the areas of political, regulatory and business environment, human capital and education. Tertiary education and efforts for research and development are other areas where the UAE has done remarkably, according to the index, which has rated the nations for their efforts toward innovations and the outcomes.
Du CEO Osman Sultan addressing the Press conference in Abu Dhabi. — Supplied photo
The nation has also scored well for its infrastructure ICT as well as physical, ecological sustainability, and business sophistication including knowledge workers, innovation linkages and knowledge absorption.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait lead the Middle East in overall innovation performance according to the GII 2013 Index, published by Cornell University, Insead and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo), a specialized agency of the United Nations. This year’s study benefits from the experience of its knowledge partners: Booz & Company, the Confederation of Indian Industry, du and others.
Saudi Arabia ranked top in the Mena region in market sophistication (credit, investment, trade and competition), Kuwait in knowledge and technology outputs (knowledge creation, knowledge impact and knowledge diffusion), and Qatar in creative outputs (creative intangibles, creative goods and services and online creativity). The UAE got the top slot for ease of paying tax and scored third place for its intangible assets, and the 14th slot for intensity of local competition environment. The report has acknowledged the success of Dubai’s Vision 2010 and Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, which will drive the regional business capital towards a knowledge-based economy and boost physical infrastructure.
The GII 2013 looked at 142 economies around the world, using 84 indicators including the quality of top universities, availability of microfinance and venture capital deals – gauging both innovation capabilities and measurable results. Switzerland and Sweden’s performance reflects the fact that both countries are leaders in all components (pillars) of the GII, consistently ranking in the top 25.
At a media briefing, Bruno Lanvin, the report’s co-editor and executive director of Insead’s European Competitiveness Initiative said that in the Arab world recent political and social changes have also underlined the importance of addressing the needs and expectations of the population in terms of growth and job creation, especially for the young.
Under performing Mena countries can catch up with innovation leaders if they “learn” to innovate, said Hatem Samman, lead economist and director of Booz & Company’s Ideation Center. “In the Middle East, we are seeing governments focus on building innovation capabilities as a means of catalysing the growth and diversification of their economies,” said Rasheed Eltayeb, principal in the public sector practice at Booz & Company.
“The unprecedented socio-economic momentum that has been created in the last few decades in the UAE makes this country very well positioned to continue to play a pivotal role in this exciting journey as a regional hub for innovation,” said Osman Sultan, chief executive officer of du.