UAE ranks as most innovative country in its region

25 Jul 2019

ideaThe Global Innovation Index (GII) has ranked the UAE as the 36th most innovative country globally, climbing two positions from the previous year and topping the list from all Arab countries.

As the Khaleej Times reports, the UAE’s ranking has continuously climbed higher over the past four years, from 47th in 2015 to 36th in 2019. It also placed 24th for innovation input and 58th for output.

The GII analyses 129 countries according to a variety of factors, being their ability to innovate, human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication, business sophistication, knowledge and technology outputs, and creative outputs.

2019 saw the GCC’s second-largest economy improve significantly in main sub-indexes, with its creative output index climbing 20 positions to 50th and human capital and research increasing by 13 places to the 18th spot this year.

The UAE has dedicated much of its efforts towards introducing new projects.

According to Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, successful cooperation between public, private and academic sectors has fuelled much of the country’s innovative environment.

He said: "Newer initiatives will be rolled out with the chief goal of further expanding fundamental and applied research conducted in the country and linking it to robust financing mechanisms. In addition, the country is looking to enhance the knowledge economy by amplifying the number of intellectual property applications and registrations made inside the UAE through the attraction of foreign companies and the introduction of licences for IP holding companies."

Hussain Ebrahim Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education, added on that his ministry is working with the state’s plans to reach all goals for innovation indicators, saying: "This will lead to enhanced competitiveness in an important and vital sector that is capable of both strengthening the UAE's prosperity and paving the way for its rapid transition towards a sustainable knowledge economy.”

Meanwhile, Younis Haji Al Khoori, under-secretary at the Ministry of Finance, pointed out that efficient financing mechanisms are a necessity in order to implement the right innovation ecosystem.

"The Ministry of Finance is working alongside the National Agenda team to provide, enhance and sustain these financing mechanisms and to build a National network aimed at supporting fundamental research. The Ministry will continue to work alongside its various partners with the goal of fostering a culture of innovation through the provision of support and financing to National innovators," he said.

Following the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Bahrain and Oman rank next in the region. On a global scale, Switzerland ranked first and was followed by Sweden, the US, the Netherlands and the UK.