South Africa has ranked number 30 out of 56 countries in terms of its domestic policies supporting global innovation.
The global technology think tank, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) released the data in its report, called Contributors and Detractors: Ranking Countries’ Impact on Global Innovation.
“More innovation will be the determining factor in achieving greater progress,” stated the report, released on 20 January. “Countries’ economic and trade policies can either help or hurt global innovation.
“In contrast, policies such as export subsidies or forced localisation harm global innovation. If nations increased their supportive policies and reduced their harmful policies, the rate of innovation worldwide would significantly accelerate.”
How does South Africa compare?
South Africa and Kenya were the only African countries to have been featured. Kenya ranked at 51.
South Africa’s BRICS partners ranked as follows: Brazil came in at 41, Russia 42, India 54 and China 44.
The top spots were taken by Finland, Sweden, the UK, Singapore, Netherlands, and Denmark, respectively.
The authors of the report looked at various aspects that supported innovation locally, but which had a global effect, such as supportive tax systems, investing in the work force, and research and development.
“Robust innovation is essential for economic growth and progress,” said co-author Stephen Ezell, ITIF’s vice-president for global innovation.
“As countries increasingly vie for leadership in the innovation economy, they can implement policies that try to benefit only themselves but harm the production of innovation in the rest of the world. Or they can implement ‘win-win’ policies that bolster their own innovation capacity while also generating positive spill-overs for the entire global economy. For innovation to flourish around the world, we need a system that is doing much more of the latter.”
According to technology news site IT Web, South Africa’s National Development Plan is the blueprint for “the national system of innovation to function in a coherent and co-ordinated manner, with broad objectives aligned with national priorities.