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What are the top ten most innovative countries?

Posting in Aerospace

The United States, South Korea and Japan are known for inventions and innovation, but where do other countries worldwide fit in?

Bloomberg Rankings recently released the results of an examination of over 200 countries and how they compare in terms of innovation. Measured in seven factors, including research & development intensity, high-tech density, present researchers, manufacturing capabilities, levels of education and patent activity, each country was ranked on a scale of 0 to 100 percent. An average score was given for countries that had "sufficient" data for at least five of the seven categories.

R&D intensity was based on research and development as a percentage of GDP, productivity on GDP per employee and per hour worked, and high-tech density is based on the percentage of publicly-listed companies who specialize in areas including aerospace, defense, biotechnology, Internet software and renewable energy firms.

The concentration of researchers was quantified based on how many research & development staff exist for every one million people, manufacturing capabilities were measured through GDP, and patent activity on resident patent filings per million people and for every one million spent in research and development. Finally, tertiary efficiency is explained as the enrollment ration in all subjects for post-secondary students and the graduation of those who majored in science, engineering, manufacturing and construction.

Which countries came on top?

1. United States

  • R&D intensity: 9th
  • Productivity: 3rd
  • High-tech density: 1st
  • Researcher concentration: 10th
  • Manufacturing capability: 52nd
  • Tertiary efficiency: 26th
  • Patent activity: 6th

2. South Korea

  • R&D intensity: 5th
  • Productivity: 32nd
  • High-tech density: 3rd
  • Researcher concentration: 8th
  • Manufacturing capability: 3rd
  • Tertiary efficiency: 4th
  • Patent activity: 1st

3. Germany

  • R&D intensity: 8th
  • Productivity: 7th
  • High-tech density: 4th
  • Researcher concentration: 17th
  • Manufacturing capability: 23rd
  • Tertiary efficiency: 25th
  • Patent activity: 7th

4. Finland

  • R&D intensity: 2nd
  • Productivity: 14th
  • High-tech density: 11th
  • Researcher concentration: 1st
  • Manufacturing capability: 31st
  • Tertiary efficiency: 3rd
  • Patent activity: 23rd

5. Sweden

  • R&D intensity: 3rd
  • Productivity: 11th
  • High-tech density: 6th
  • Researcher concentration: 7th
  • Manufacturing capability: 49th
  • Tertiary efficiency: 21st
  • Patent activity: 38th

6. Japan

  • R&D intensity: 4th
  • Productivity: 21st
  • High-tech density: 20th
  • Researcher concentration: 6th
  • Manufacturing capability: 15th
  • Tertiary efficiency: 27th
  • Patent activity: 2nd

7. Singapore

  • R&D intensity: 11th
  • Productivity: 20th
  • High-tech density: 16th
  • Researcher concentration: 4th
  • Manufacturing capability: 10th
  • Tertiary efficiency: 20th
  • Patent activity: 53rd

8. Austria

  • R&D intensity: 10th
  • Productivity: 9th
  • High-tech density: 14th
  • Researcher concentration: 15th
  • Manufacturing capability: 29th
  • Tertiary efficiency: 28th
  • Patent activity: 19th

9. Denmark

  • R&D intensity: 6th
  • Productivity: 12th
  • High-tech density: 18th
  • Researcher concentration: 3rd
  • Manufacturing capability: 66th
  • Tertiary efficiency: 30th
  • Patent activity: 20th

10. France

  • R&D intensity: 14th
  • Productivity: 6th
  • High-tech density: 8th
  • Researcher concentration: 18th
  • Manufacturing capability: 73rd
  • Tertiary efficiency: 12th
  • Patent activity: 18th

The "Bloomberg Innovation Quotient" is based on data from Bloomberg, World Bank, World Intellectual Property Organization, Conference Board, OECD, and UNESCO. For the full list, check out Bloomberg's 50 Most Innovative Countries list.

Image credit: ZDNet

(via Bloomberg)

— By on February 3, 2013, 10:15 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure