India ranks 57 in Global Innovation Index 2018

The 11th edition of Global Innovation Index (GII) 2018 was launched in India on August 8, 2018. The index was based on the theme– ‘Energizing the World with Innovation’. India remained 1st in the Central and Southern Asian region and moved up to the 5th position in the GII rankings among lower-middle-income economies.

Created On: Aug 10, 2018 12:06 ISTModified On: Aug 10, 2018 12:53 IST
India ranks 57 in Global Innovation Index 2018

The 11th edition of Global Innovation Index (GII) 2018 was launched in India on August 8, 2018. The index was based on the theme– ‘Energizing the World with Innovation’.

The India launch was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), one of the founding partners of GII along with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in collaboration with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

In this year’s edition of GII, India’s rank has jumped to 57 from 60 in 2017. In fact, India has been consistently climbing the GII ranking for the past three years. It was ranked 66th in the 2016 Global Innovation Index and 81st in 2015 GII.

Top 10 Countries













United Kingdom






United States of America















Top innovation regions by GII score





Northern America

US, Canada




Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden



South East Asia, East Asia and Oceania

Singapore, Republic of Korea and Japan



Northern Africa and Western Asia

Israel, Cyprus and UAE



Latin America and The Caribbean

Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico



Central and Southern Asia

India, Iran and Kazakhstan



Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa, Mauritius and Kenya



7 key findings of GII 2018

1. Becoming optimistic about global innovation and growth is possible.

2. Continued investments in breakthrough energy innovations are essential for global growth and to avert an environmental crisis.

3. China’s rapid rise shows the way for other middle-income economies.

4. Richer economies, with more diverse industry and export portfolios, are likelier to score high in innovation.

5. Focusing on translating innovation investments into results is key.

6. Strong regional innovation imbalances persevere, hampering economic and human development.

7. Most top science and technology clusters are in the US, China, Germany and Brazil.


Key Highlights

The 2018 GII index shows interesting changes in the top 10. While Switzerland leads the rankings for the eighth consecutive year, the Netherlands and Sweden swapped their positions, ranking 2nd and 3rd respectively.

The UK gained one spot, moving to the 4th position and Singapore jumped to the 5th spot, moving up two positions since last year.

The US, which had been stable at the 4th spot for the last two years, moved down two placed to the 6th position this year.

Finland, which gained one position since 2017, took up the 7th place. On the other hand, Denmark, which had moved up two positions each year since 2016, lost two positions this year, ranking 8th.

Germany and Ireland, however, remained stable at the 9th and 10th spots respectively.

In the top 25, the most significant moves were made by Israel, which moved up 6 positions this year to be at the 11th position and China, which continued its consistent upward rise by moving up five places to be at the 17th position.

 India ranks 57 in Global Innovation Index 2018

Top performers by Income Group

High-income group: Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden are among the top three performers in this group.

Upper-middle-income group: The top three performers in this group include China, Malaysia and Bulgaria.

Lower-middle-income group: The top three performers in this group include Ukraine, Vietnam and the Republic of Moldova.

The top 10 in the Innovation Input Sub-Index

The top 10 economies in the Innovation Input Sub-Index include Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden, the UK, Finland, the US, Denmark, Hong Kong (China), the Netherlands, and Canada.

Hong Kong (China) and Canada are the only economies in this group that are not also in the GII top 10.

The top 10 in the Innovation Output Sub-Index

The top 10 economies in the Innovation Output Sub-Index this year include Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Luxembourg, Germany, UK, US, Finland, Ireland and China.

The 10 economies leading the Innovation Output Sub-Index remain broadly consistent with their rankings in 2017, with few shifts and two substitutions.

While Germany moved upwards within the top 10, the US and Ireland moved downwards.

The two substitutions include Finland and China, which replaced the Republic of Korea and Iceland in the top 10.

Besides, eight of these economies are ranked in the GII top 10.

Top 5 Economies in quality of innovation in 2018

The top 5 high-income economies in the quality of innovation include Japan, Switzerland, the U.S., Germany and the United Kingdom.

While the Republic of Korea moved up in the quality of innovation, overtaking Sweden this year, France entered the top 10 for the first time.

Among the middle-income group, the top 5 remained steady with China, India, and the Russian Federation at the top, followed by Brazil and Argentina.

Mexico and Malaysia are advancing the most in this group.

India in GII 2018

In GII 2018, India remained 1st in the Central and Southern Asian region and moved up to the 5th position in the GII rankings among lower-middle-income economies.

India is 2nd among the middle-income economies for the third consecutive year, with rankings that are edging slightly closer to those of China.

This year India remained 2nd in both the quality of its universities and the quality of its scientific publications among middle-income economies.

This is possible because of an improved quality of scientific publications and the high quality of university scores for the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Technology—both Delhi and Bombay.

Although India’s score for patent families dropped slightly in 2018, its overall performance in this indicator still drove it up to the 5th position in the group.

The country confirmed its rank among the top 50 economies in two pillars -Market sophistication (36th) and Knowledge and technology outputs (43rd)—and is among the top 25 in two sub-pillars—Trade, competition, and market scale (16th) and Knowledge diffusion (25th).

At the indicator level, India ranked well in a number of important indicators, including graduates in science and engineering, productivity growth, and ICT services exports, where it ranks number 1 in the world.

India also outperformed on innovation relative to its GDP per capita for many years in a row.

Among the other Central and Southern Asian countries, the Islamic Republic of Iran remained at the 2nd position, moving closer to the top half of the GII this year. The nation has improved its ranking remarkably since 2014.

The other economies in the region including Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh, ranked lower in the list.

Other Details

The GII index reveals that the global innovation divide remains wide, with high-income economies leading the innovation landscape and big gaps in terms of nearly all innovation input and output metrics between these leaders and other less-developed countries.

In this context, China’s rise in the GII rankings over the last few years has been spectacular. Since 2016 China has featured in the top 25 group and has consistently moved upward in the rankings to 17th in 2018.

In absolute values and in areas such as R&D expenditures and the number of researchers, patents, and publications, China is now 1st or 2nd in the world, with volumes that overshadow most high income economies.

The only middle-income economy that continues to edge closer to the top 25 is Malaysia at 35th rank.

The GII 2018 also identifies 20 countries that outperform on innovation relative to their level of development.

The new entrants in the list include Colombia, Tunisia, South Africa, Costa Rica, Serbia, Montenegro, Thailand, Georgia, and Mongolia. Among these, Colombia, Tunisia, and South Africa have entered the group for the first time.

Of these 20 economies—six in total, the most from any region—come from Sub-Saharan Africa.

Further, Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique, Malawi, and Madagascar have stood out for being innovation achievers at least three times in the previous eight years.

Also, it was for the very first time that South Africa joined the group of achievers from the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

In other regions, this year Mongolia, Thailand, and Montenegro made a comeback.

In the 2018 edition of the GII, the statistical relationship of the GII score relative to country features was assessed. The core findings are as follows:

1. All editions of the GII demonstrate the positive link between innovation performance and an economy’s level of development as measured by GDP per capita. Still, some economies stand out because they over perform relative to their levels of development.

2. Country size as reflected by population size is not correlated with the GII score in a statistically significant way. Both large and small countries have a good shot at scoring high on the GII; small countries do not unduly lead the rankings.

3. High-income economies are more innovative when their economic structures and thus their industry portfolios are more diverse.

4. Economies at all levels of development happen to be more innovative when they have a more diversified export portfolio.


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