Innovation - The Cutting Edge
Remember that newsletter about whether innovation works? Well, now we have some global statistics that say it really does provide the cutting edge of strong economies.
The World Intellectual Property Organisation "(“WIPO”) has just published its global innovation report 2022 and it weighs in at 41Mb as a PDF, which is hefty. A PhD in itself.
Fortunately there is an executive summary, and you can read that over coffee.
The UK ranks 4th, but has advantages from its economic power and regional placement. Perosnally, I think the Swiss score is heavily distorted by tax advantaged registration of IP in Switzerland that is actually “created” elsewhere (large multinationals with active operations in UK, US, France, and Germany all send huge numbers of patents to Switzerland) and therefore discount Switzerland and other “pure tax havens” . I’m looking at Sweden and thinking “why is the UK not above Sweden”, (and I rank Swedish innovation teams I know in the “A Team” globally).
Globally, COVID caused a huge jump in innovation expenditure across the board, not just in vaccines. Perhaps necessity was the mother of invention for a while, as global life and work changed rapidly?
However, progress on key societal and planetary challenges faltered a little. We made less progress than normal on energy storage, decarbonisation, transistor density (a key feature of IT progress), and antibiotics. There are glimmers of hope in deep science and digital age innovation, many of which point to an age where pure GDP gains are likely to be less but where innovation will improve quality of life and experience.
Innovation is taking root in every country, including all of Africa and South America. That will cause huge positive changes wherever it is nurtured. There are real surprises in India, Republic of Moldova, and Vietnam. Worth a look.
The raw table of scores masks a huge gap between the US and everyone else in financial and employment terms. Don’t be fooled into thinking “we can be number 1” unless you have a single market of over 300,000,000 people and the tax base and export power to match.
The link between innvoation and development seems solid. The UK is likely to continue to do well as it has the institutions and business sophistication to innovate, but we are falling back on human capital, market sophistication (outside the EU now), and knowledge outputs. We have dropped quite shockingly in creative outputs (arts, media, music, and so forth). We can link innovation to outputs efficiently and effectively, and better than many, which will continue to help the UK.
What are you doing, in your business, TODAY, to create a future through innovation? Is it linked to your financial strategy?
Drop me a line with stories to share or questions!