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Australia is stalling in the Global Innovation Index

Australia has stalled in innovation, being overtaken by the likes of New Zealand in the eighth Global Innovation Index.

Australia is ranked 17th for the second year a in a row, after slowly moving up the rankings in previous years. Here’s the list of the top 20:

The annual report, released by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization, aims to rank economies’ “innovation capabilities and results”. The ranking is constructed using a number of criteria, which themselves are broken down in the report:

Australia does well on a number of these criteria. In education we rank first in the number of years of schooling and sixth in tertiary enrolment. In infrastructure Australia comes in fourth overall, and scores well across the board for internet services. Australia has also moved up one spot in market sophistication, placing ninth place overall and coming in fourth for the ease of getting credit. And lastly, Australia has broken into the top ten in creative outputs where it does especially well in creating media for global consumption (ranked third).

But there are a number of areas where we fall down. And for their part, Information Property Australia have come up with a short list of what we can improve:

Australia’s relative GII weaknesses from innovation input mostly lie in human capital and research and business sophistication, which can be overcome by encouraging graduates in science and engineering and communications.

From our innovation output side Australia exhibits relative weaknesses in knowledge and technology outputs.

Improvements can be made in knowledge diffusion, communications, computer and information services exports and imports and foreign direct investment.

These are all areas where Australia dropped in the rankings. Most notable was Foreign Direct Investment where Australia fell from 49th all the way to 114th place. And while Australia scores well in some educational rankings, the amount spent on both education and research declined.

As for New Zealand, they’ve gotten where they are by having some of the best institutions and regulatory environments in the world, as well as topping us in credit, protection of investors and number of patents filed.

(The red dot indicates a strength)

For comparison this is the top part of Australia’s page:

(The red dot indicates a strength)

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