Global Innovation Index – UPSC

The Global Innovation Index (GII) is an annual ranking of countries by their capacity for and success in innovation. It ranks the innovation ecosystem performance of countries around the world annually while highlighting the innovation strengths, weaknesses, particular gaps in innovation metrics.


The Global Innovation Index was started in 2007 by INSEAD, launched by Professor Soumitra Dutta during his tenure at INSEAD. Its objective was to find and determine the metrics and methods that could capture a picture of innovation in society as complete as possible.

In 2011, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO, a specialised agency of the United Nations) started its association with GII and began co-publishing the GII in 2012. In 2013, Cornell University joined as a co-publisher. The GII continued to be co-published by the WIPO, INSEAD, and Cornell University up to 2020.

As of 2021, the WIPO published the GII in partnership with the Portulans Institute, various corporate and academic network partners, and the GII Advisory Board.

Overview of the Global Innovation Index 2021

Published byWorld Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Top five countries1. Switzerland
2. Sweden
3. the USA
4. the United Kingdom
5. South Korea
India ranks46th position

Top three Innovation Economies by Income Group

IncomesCountries (top three)
High income1. Switzerland
2. Sweden
3. the USA
Upper middle income1. China
2. Bulgaria
3. Malaysia
Lower middle income1. Vietnam
2. India
3. Ukraine
Low income1. Rwanda
2. Tajikistan
3. Malawi

About the Global Innovation Index 2021

  • The 14th edition of the Global Innovation Index launched globally on 20 September 2021.
  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) published the Global Innovation Index 2021 in partnership with the Portulans Institute, the Brazillian National Confederation of Industry (CNI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Ecopetrol (Colombia) and the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM).
  • Global Innovation Index 2021 provides new data and analysis on the state of global innovation, which allows the readers and policy-makers to benchmark the innovation ecosystem performance of more than 130 countries.
  • The Index comprises around 81 indicators, grouped into innovation inputs and outputs.
    • Innovation Inputs: Institutions; Infrastructure; Human capital and research; Market sophistication; Business sophistication
    • Innovation Outputs: Knowledge and technology outputs; Creative outputs

Innovation input sub-index:

InnovationInfrastructureHuman capital and researchMarket sophisticationBusiness sophistication
Political environmentInformation and communication technologies (ICTs)EducationCreditKnowledge workers
Regulatory environmentGeneral InfrastructureTertiary educationInvestmentInnovation linkages
Business environmentEcological sustainabilityResearch and development (R&D)Trade, diversification, and market scaleKnowledge absorption

Innovation output sub-index:

Knowledge and technology outputsCreative outputs
Knowledge creationIntangible assets
Knowledge impactCreative goods and services
Knowledge diffusionOnline creativity
  • The latest edition of the index includes a novel new feature, the Global Innovation Tracker, for tracking the most recent global innovation trends, also focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on innovation.
  • The Index is based on the objective and subjective data compiled from various sources, including the World Bank, the International Telecommunication Union, and the World Economic Forum.
  • GII offers different metrics to monitor performance and benchmark developments against economies within the same region or income group classification.

Key findings related to India

  • Over the past few years, India rank has been consistently rising in the Global Innovation Index. India has advanced from 81st rank in 2015 to 46th rank in 2021.
  • In 2021, India performed better in innovation outputs than innovation inputs. India ranks 57th in terms of innovation inputs this year. As for the innovation output, India ranks at 45th position.
  • India ranks 1st among the ten economies in Central and Southern Asia.
  • India ranks 2nd among the 34 lower-middle-income group economies.
  • As per the government, the department of atomic energy, science and technology, biotechnology, and space are responsible for the country’s improved performance.

Key Highlights of the Global Innovation Index 2021

The top four economies in the GII 2021: Sweden, Sweden, the United States, and the United Kingdom, continue to lead the innovation ranking, with all four countries placing in the top five for the previous three years.

The Republic of Korea, ranked at 5th position, entered the top five for the first time in GII 2021.

The four Asian countries featured in the top 15 positions are Singapore (8th), China (12th), Japan (13th), Hong Kong (14th).

Investments in innovation reached an all-time high before the pandemic, with research and development (R&D) rising at an exceptional rate of 8.5% in 2019.

For the 11th year in a row, India, Kenya, the Republic of Moldova, and Vietnam hold the record for overperforming on innovation compared to their level of development.

FAQ on the Innovation Index

  1. What is the India Innovation Index?

    The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has developed the India Innovation Index on the model of the Global Innovation Index.

  2. What is the significance of the India Innovation Index?

    The Index creates an extensive framework for the continual evaluation of the innovation system of Indian States & Union Territories. It intended to perform functions, such as:
    Ranking of states & UTs based on their index score,
    Recognizing opportunities & challenges,
    Assisting in designing policies to foster innovation across regions.

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