Switzerland tops Global Innovation Index for 10th year running

Switzerland tops Global Innovation Index for 10th year running

Switzerland has topped the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s (WIPO) Global Innovation Index (GII), showing that the alpine nation remains a haven for “investment and innovation.” This is the 10th year in a row that Switzerland has topped the rankings, scoring highly in market sophistication and tech output.

Switzerland leads in research and development businesses

WIPO publishes the Global Innovation Index every year to measure how “innovation-friendly” each country is by analysing over 100 different factors. These can range from how friendly the country is to entrepreneurship, the stability of government, the strength of education and creative output.

The study found Switzerland scored highly in technological innovation and creativity. One of the key factors was the number of patented inventions and the number of trademarks filed, shown as evidence of Switzerland’s strength as a place to do research and development.

Swiss stability provides a base for international business

Switzerland was also praised for its stability, making it perfect for international companies and banking. The country has been number one in the rankings since 2009, with Sweden and the United States rounding out the top three for 2021.

Alongside the positives, the report found some areas that needed improvement. The report found that Switzerland ranks poorly when it comes to starting a new business, ease of getting credit and import tariffs. However, it must be noted that strengths outnumbered weaknesses by 23 to 10 on the WIPO's list.

The report called on all nations to “leverage the power of innovation to build a cohesive and sustainable recovery” after the COVID-19 pandemic. The thoughts were echoed by the World Economic Forum, who hoped that before their annual meeting in Davos, more funds would be spent making “societies more inclusive, sustainable and resilient.”

Global Innovation Index top 10 in 2021

Of the countries ranked by the report, seven were from Europe, two from Asia and one from North America. Below is a list of the top 10 most innovative countries according to the Global Innovation Index:

  • 1. Switzerland
  • 2. Sweden
  • 3. United States of America
  • 4. United Kingdom
  • 5. Republic of Korea
  • 6. Netherlands
  • 7. Finland
  • 8. Singapore
  • 9. Denmark
  • 10. Germany

For more information on how other countries were ranked and how the scores were calculated, check out WIPO's website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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