ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore rallies to fifth place in global innovation rankings

But it still needs to work on education expenditure, environmental performance, and productivity growth.

Singapore climbed to fifth place in the Global Innovation Index 2018 with an overall score of 59.83 points, marking its highest place so far in the rankings.

According to the index, the city ranked first in the innovation input sub-index rankings with a score of 74.23 points. Singapore ranked in the top five in all input pillars, confirming its first position in institutions and gaining a top rank in human capital and research too, although the index attributes this partly to data becoming unavailable on two indicators— government funding per pupil and school life expectancy. It also held second place in business sophistication.

Meanwhile, it gained two spots and moved to 15th place in the innovation output sub-index rankings with a score of 45.43 points.

In terms of innovation outputs, Singapore maintained its 11th position in knowledge and technology outputs but lost three spots in creative outputs (35th). At the sub-pillar level, Singapore still held a top rank in political environment, regulatory environment, and tertiary education but lost it in investment (second this year).

The index identified relative weaknesses like expenditure on education, pupil-teacher ratio, environmental performance, productivity growth, and trademarks and industrial designs by origin.

Apart from these areas of opportunity, Singapore keeps its first place in various indicators, including government effectiveness, regulatory quality, PISA results, IP payments, and foreign direct investment (FDI) outflows.

This year Singapore also gained a top rank in five other indicators: political stability and safety, market capitalization, FDI inflows, high- and medium-high-tech manufactures, and high-tech exports.

Notably, Singapore has the 28th highest number of publications at 42,747 and the 32nd highest number of patents at 3,706.

Rankings and reports for the Global Innovation Index are made by Cornell University, INSEAD, and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). 

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