South Korea and Sweden once again lead the 2018 edition of the Bloomberg Innovation Index, but the big news is that the United States of America (USA) has slipped out of the top ten positions for the first time in the six years the ranking has been compiled.
The United States slipped two places from 9th to 11th mainly because of an eight-spot slump in the post-secondary, or tertiary, education-efficiency category, which includes the share of new science and engineering graduates in the labour force, according to the report. Value-added manufacturing also declined but improvement in the productivity score couldn’t make up for the lost ground.
The index scores countries using seven criteria, including research and development spending and concentration of high-tech public companies. In the latest edition Singapore jumped ahead of European economies Germany, Switzerland and Finland into third place on the strength of its top ranking in the tertiary-efficiency category, Japan, one of three Asian nations in the top 10, rose one slot to 6th. France moved up to 9th from 11th, joining five other European economies in the top tier. Israel completed the top ten and significantly noted for being the only country to beat South Korea in the R&D category.
Elsewhere, China moved up two spots to 19th, buoyed by its high proportion of new science and engineering graduates in the labour force and increasing number of patents. South Africa and Iran moved back into the top 50. Italy moved up for spots from 24th to 20th, while Turkey was also among the biggest gainers, jumping four spots to 33rd because of improvements in tertiary efficiency, productivity and two other categories. New Zealand and Ukraine where the biggest losers, each dropping four places. The productivity measure influenced New Zealand’s shift, while Ukraine was hurt by a lower tertiary-efficiency ranking, according to the index rankings.