According to Bloomberg, South Korea and Singapore ranked 1st and 3rd respectively on 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index.
The Index scores countries using seven equally weighted categories, including: (1) research and development (R&D) spending, (2) manufacturing value-added, (3) productivity, (4) concentration of high-tech public companies, (5) tertiary efficiency, (6) researcher concentration, and (7) patent activity. Each country was then scored on a 0-100 scale based on seven criteria, those that do not have data in at least 6 criteria were eliminated.
South Korea retained her top position on the Index for the 5th consecutive year and Sweden retained their 1st and 2nd positions on the ranking respectively while the US dropped out of the top 10 in the Index for the first time in the 6 years the gauge has been compiled.
Ranking top in tertiary efficiency category, Singapore jumped ahead of European economies like Germany, Switzerland and Finland into 3rd place on the ranking.
In the same Bloomberg article, Associate Provost at the Singapore University of Technology and Design Professor Yeo Kiat Seng commented that “Singapore has always placed strong focus on educating her populace, especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines”. As a holder of 38 patents, Professor Yeo added that the city-state has a “steadfast commitment to funding R&D and innovation”.
Meanwhile, some key Asian economies are also recognised for their effort in innovation. Japan rose one spot to 6th in the ranking. China also moved up two spots to 19th with its high proportion new science and engineering graduates in the labour force and increasing number of patents by home-grown innovators.
Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand also made it into the top fifty innovative economies. However, their rankings all dropped, with Malaysia now ranked at 26, Hong Kong at 37 and Thailand at 45.