China in TOP 20 most innovative economies

Added On July 12, 2018

China made it into the world's 20 most innovative economies in the Global Innovation Index 2018 released in New York on Tuesday.

China is the only middle-income economy that has been listed in the top 20.
Economy Report has more. 
China rose to number 17 up from 22 last year, following a steady upward trend in recent years.
The Global Innovation Index, or GII, also showed China has the second largest number of Science and Technology Clusters and is making rapid progress on clean energy technologies. 
In an exclusive interview with CNC, Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, praised China's achievement and long-term growth.
SOUNDBITE(English) FRANCIS GURRY, Director General of WIPO:
"The performance of China, which as you know, has risen five places from NO. 22 to NO. 17. And that is of course an outstanding performance. We place less emphasis on year-to-year changes, but in the case of China, it fits into a trend and that is a trend that we have seen over several years now, of China rising in the rankings and this is very significant. It is the only middle income country to be ranked in the top 20 in the global Innovation index, and this is quite an achievement."
Gurry commented on China's increasing innovation, saying China's economy is transforming from a labor intensive one towards one with high-value growth. He added innovation is a central element in China's structural transformation which is driven by a top-down strategy.
Switzerland continued to dominate the index for the 8th year in a row, but the U.S. from its 4th position in 2017 to 6th. 
GII ranks 126 economies' innovation based on 80 indicators, ranging from intellectual property filing rates to mobile-application creation, education spending and scientific and technical publications.
This year, the top 10 innovative economies also included Britain, Singapore, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Ireland.
In 2017, GII began to include a special category on Science and Technology Clusters.
This year's survey found China ranked number 2 in terms of the number of such hotspots, after the U.S.. It is followed by Germany, the UK and Canada. 
In terms of overall innovation cluster ranking, Tokyo–Yokohama of Japan again topped the list, followed by Shenzhen-Hong Kong of China, also a repeat of last year.
Gurry touched on the innovation cluster category in GII, saying such hotspots are, quote, "a measure of the strength of the innovation of a particular country". 
SOUNDBITE(English) FRANCIS GURRY, Director General of WIPO:
"We see that Chinese brands are rising in value and becoming more household names throughout the world. This is one measure of the quality of the innovation that is occurring on the intellectual property applications in China."
GII 2018 shows a waning growth rate in environmentally friendly energy-related patenting, with green patent rates peaking in 2012.
Gurry also noted a slowing increase in clean energy investment and the 2014 peak in patent applications in renewable energies and environmentally sustainable technologies.
However, the current demands suggest the opposite is needed. Projections indicate that by 2040 the world will require up to 30 percent more energy than today and conventional approaches to expanding the energy supply are unsustainable in the face of climate change.
SOUNDBITE(English) FRANCIS GURRY, Director General of WIPO:
"We absolutely need innovation in the production of energy, in particular clean energy, in storage and transmission of that and in consumption habits, absolutely to ensure that we are able to meet the energy levels required, but to do so in a way that's as environmentally friendly as possible."
While China has performed well on this year's ranking, it has not scored high on the ecological sustainability indicator, with a low GDP per unit of energy use and environmental performance compared with economies from the same income group.
But China is making new progress in clean energy technologies, as shown by WIPO records indicating China has become a major producer of intellectual property applications in this regard. 
SOUNDBITE(English) FRANCIS GURRY, Director General of WIPO:
"We see a consciousness on the part of the leadership and increasing take-up on the part of the institutions of finding new ways to address this problem. For example, the electric car. And the consumption habits really, and the electric public transportation systems. So it's a huge effort of transformation, no country has actually done that yet. We are all still struggling with this transformation."
The WIPO director general has said he expects China to improve on ecological sustainability and to lead in clean energy technologies in the future.