Bahrain 'ranks high on innovation index'
Manama, July 23, 2014
Bahrain has achieved a high regional ranking in innovation.
The 2014 Global Innovation Index (GII) ranked the country fourth among 14 economies in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Bahrain is placed 62nd in the overall global ranking, which is based on surveys of 143 economies around the world, using 81 indicators to calculate their innovation capabilities and measurable results.
The UAE ranked top among the GCC countries and the wider Middle East region and 36 globally, followed by Saudi Arabia at 38, Qatar at 47, Kuwait at 69 and Oman 75.
The document was published by Cornell University, the European Institute for Business Administration (Insead) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) under the theme 'The Human Factor in Innovation'.
It explores the role of human capital in the innovation process and underlines the growing interest that firms and governments have shown in identifying and energising creative individuals and teams.
Insead executive director for global indices Bruno Lanvin told the GDN the index was calculated as the average of two sub-indices; the Innovation Input Sub-Index and Innovation Output Sub-Index.
The former measures innovative activities across national institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication and business sophistication, while the latter captures actual evidence of innovation results as seen through knowledge and technology outputs and creative outputs.
"Bahrain performed better in Input Sub-Index (fourth) than in the Output Sub-index (sixth), leading to an overall ninth place in efficiency ratio regionally," said Lanvin.
"Among the overall high income group (49 economies), it ranks 44th and shows main strengths in cost of redundancy dismissal (first), graduates in science and engineering (first), government's online service (ninth) and joint venture-strategic alliance deals (12th).
"At the sub-pillar level its strengths are innovation linkages (seventh), general infrastructure (19th), information and communication technologies (21st), and business environment (22nd)."
He said efforts made by Bahrain in fields like business climate, information and telecommunications infrastructure, and e-services had a positive influence on the country's GII ranking.
"The top ranking that Bahrain enjoys for graduates in science and engineering is an indication that the country has high-quality human factor resources to make further progress along this avenue," he added.
Mr Lanvin said the talent dimension of innovation was particularly critical for Mena countries, whose young populations will require massive job creation in the years to come.
"Reliance on 'imported skills' (from expatriates and consultants) needs to diminish rapidly if those countries want to be able to generate a sustainable flow of local innovation," he explained.
WIPO director-general Francis Gurry said Middle Eastern countries recognised the importance of innovation and were seeking to diversify their economies away from natural resources and towards knowledge-intensive industries.
Published annually since 2007, the GII is a benchmark tool for business executives, policy makers and others seeking insight into the state of innovation around the world.
The report was jointly authored by Cornell University's Samuel Curtis Johnson, Graduate School of Management dean Soumitra Dutta, Gurry and Lanvin. - TradeArabia News Service