Estonia a leader in innovation among the former communist bloc countries

Estonia has been ranked 24th in this year’s Global Innovation Index, compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Cornell University and INSEAD, leading among the former communist-controlled countries.

Estonia keeps its 2018 spot in the ranking and leads among the countries formerly occupied or controlled by the Soviet Union. Estonia is ahead of New Zealand and just behind Belgium in the index. Estonia’s Nordic neighbours, Sweden and Finland, are ranked as second and sixth most innovative countries, respectively. Estonia’s Baltic neighbours, Latvia and Lithuania, hold the 34th and 38th spot, respectively. Russia is ranked as 46th.

Now in its 12th edition, the index ranks 129 economies based on 80 indicators, from traditional measurements, like research and development investments and international patent and trademark applications, to newer indicators, including mobile-phone app creation and high-tech exports.

A warning about protectionism

According to the publishers, the index also provides valuable insights into the dynamics of global innovation – it highlights economies that excel in innovation and those that are more successful in translating investments in innovation inputs into innovation outputs.

The index warns that increased protectionism in the world poses risks. “If left uncontained, it will lead to a slowdown of growth in innovation productivity and diffusion across the globe.”

Switzerland is the world’s most-innovative country, followed by Sweden, the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, according to the index.

Cover: A grocery robot developed by the Estonian logistics startup, Cleveron. The image is illustrative.