One of the prime reasons for UAE’s success is its consistent encouragement for innovative ideas. Innovation is part of the pillar ‘United in Knowledge’ of Vision 2021 which focuses on innovative Emirati’s building a competitive economy.
One of the Key Performance Indicators of this pillar is the Global Innovation Index.
It is a matter of great pride for the nation that the UAE has maintained its global high-standing in this year’s edition of the Global Innovation Index, GII, as it ranked number one in the Arab World for the fifth consecutive year and improved to 34th globally in the 2020 edition of the report.
The country ranked 22nd on the innovation input sub-index, a 2-rank increase from 2019, and surpassing countries such as Iceland, Luxembourg, China, Spain, and Russia. The UAE also improved on the innovation output sub-index, ranking 55th, a 3-rank increase from its rank in 2019.
The positive positioning across these indices undoubtedly reflects the significant improvements and high performances in pillars such as Human Capital & Research, Infrastructure, Business Sophistication, and Creative Outputs.
For example, these pillars include gains in indicators such as R&D expenditures, ICT access, and use indices, knowledge-intensive employment, patent families, high-tech imports, the percentage of research talent in business enterprises, and creative goods exports.
Additionally, the UAE has achieved a positive position on the new “Global Brand value” indicator, under the creative outputs pillar, where it ranked 16th globally.
The Global Innovative Index measures the performance of innovation in countries.
This year’s version of the report measured the performance of as many as 131 countries and economies representing 99 percent of global GDP, with a focus on understanding “who will finance innovation?”
The theme is especially relevant this year as the global depression triggered by COVID-19 has curtailed financing options for entrepreneurs and innovators. And it is precise during such disruptive periods that society is most in need of social and technological innovations to help the economy recover and transition to a more resilient outcome.
The method adopted is exhaustive.
The GII is calculated based on detailed measures of innovation inputs and outputs – consisting of 80 indicators that provide insights on the various areas of innovation. These cover seven pillars: (1) institutions, (2) human capital & research, (3) infrastructure, (4) market sophistication, (5) business sophistication, (6) knowledge & technology outputs, and (7) creative outputs.
The GII is commonly used by corporate and government officials to compare countries by their level of innovation inputs and outputs.
As stated by Abdullah Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy: “The UAE’s continued improved performance in the Global Innovation Index is a result of a long-term vision adopted by the country over the past years, under the guidance of wise leadership, which resulted in concerted efforts at the federal and local level as well as the close collaboration of the public, private, and academic sectors to consolidate the culture of creativity and innovation in the UAE. This will form a basis and engine for building a society that believes in a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship and for the development of a diversified, competitive, and sustainable economy based on knowledge and innovation.”
In his own words: “This result gives us more confidence to enhance our innovative performance to achieve the UAE vision 2021 and to the future development goals outlined by the UAE Centennial 2071, making sure that the UAE becomes a regional and international innovation hub.”