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Elioda Tumwesigye, UIRI

Global innovations Index 2019 to be released: Will Uganda’s status improve?

Even though Uganda is seemingly bustling with innovations, scientific assessments through the Global Innovations Index (GII) show that the country is trailing in innovation grades  in the region. In 2018, Kenya was rated the most innovative among the East African Community countries (rating globally at the 78th), followed by Tanzania (globally at 92nd), Rwanda (globally 99th) and Uganda in fourth place (103 globally). The other members of the Eat African Community -Burundi and South Sudan- were not measured.

The GII published by Cornell University (US),  Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires (INSEAD)-France and the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), has become one of the leading references for measuring how countries are performing on innovations. The index provides insight into multi-dimensional aspects of innovation-driven growth; effectively measuring how innovative and conducive for innovations countries are.

In the 2018 Index, Kenya and Rwanda were recognised as two of the 5 innovations achievers in sub-Sahara Africa; joining the likes of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Viet Nam in Asia- as the fast growing innovation achievers.

The GII 2019 will be released on July 24 in New Delhi, India. In 2018 the Index measured 126 economies, in 2019 they measure 129. The GII measure economies based on 80 indicators, ranging from intellectual property filing rates to mobile-application creation, education spending and scientific and technical publications.

The GII is generated from  two sub-indices—the Innovation Input Sub-Index and the Innovation Output Sub-Index—each built around key pillars. The Input sub index is developed from five inputs of the national economy that enable innovative activities. These are: Institutions (for research and its governance), human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication, and business sophistication.

Each of the pillars is divided into sub-pillars and each sub-pillar is composed of individual indicators. Some of the indicators, for example, under the human capital pillar include: the countries’ expenditure on education as percentage of the GDP, government funding to education (per pupil/student), school life expectancy, the Programme for International Student Assessment, (PISA) scales in reading, science and maths, among others.

Under research, indicators include: Gross national expenditure on research & development, presence of global R&D companies in the country,  QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) university rankings, among others. Infrastructure is measured by ICT access, ICT use, government online services, e-participation, national electricity output and ISO certification environment in the country.

The output index is developed from: Knowledge and technology outputs and creative outputs, which are broken down into sub-pillars.

The top 10 innovative economies globally in 2018 were: Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Singapore, United States of America, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Ireland. For the first time China was among the top 20 innovators at position 17.

“China’s rapid rise reflects a strategic direction set from the top leadership to developing world-class capacity in innovation and to moving the structural basis of the economy to more knowledge-intensive industries that rely on innovation to maintain competitive advantage,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “It heralds the arrival of multipolar innovation.

The theme for the 2019 Report is “Creating Healthy Lives- The Future of Medical innovations.” This theme will examine how technical and non-technical medical innovations will transform the delivery of healthcare in the coming decade and how such medical innovations will contribute to economic growth.

(Note:  Only the photo on this article has been edited and changed, the article remains the same- Editor)

 

 

 

 

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