Switzerland named the most innovative country on earth

Switzerland named the most innovative country on earth

The latest Global Innovation Index by the World Intellectual Property Organisation has revealed which nations around the world are considered to be at the forefront of science, technology and new discoveries. For the 13th time, Switzerland has been named the most innovative nation on earth, largely thanks to its international companies and universities.

Global Innovation Index by WIPO

To create the ranking, WIPO analysed 132 counties from around the world, to see which are at the forefront of creating new technologies and innovating on older systems. The organisation, based in Geneva, explained that the ranking seeks to inform each country about how its economy compares to others in terms of innovation, as well as provide advice regarding what policies can be implemented to improve its score.

To do this, each nation’s economy is analysed through 80 separate metrics, ranging from state finances and the level of investment in new technology from both the government and private companies to the quality of schools and how proficient each nation is in developing technology via global cooperation and through the internet.

Global innovation booms despite uncertainty

In the report, WIPO noted that despite financial uncertainty worldwide, global innovation has grown again, especially in the health, energy and artificial intelligence sectors. Funding for scientific advances, publications, research and development and new companies all grew significantly in 2022, in spite of the global instability brought about by the war in Ukraine, the end of the COVID pandemic and resulting inflation.

In particular, the study praised India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Brazil for increasing their development output in the last year. However, they also added that Europe remains a dominant force in innovation, with WIPO expert Sacha Wunsch-Vincent telling 20 Minuten that Europe is “not losing momentum” to other nations around the world.

Switzerland the most innovative nation in the world

For the 13th time since the study was launched, Switzerland has been named as the most innovative country in the world. This year, Sweden beat the United States to second place, with America rounding out the podium.

WIPO noted that Switzerland, considering its size and population, consistently outperforms when it comes to investing in and creating technology and inventions. The country ranks first in the world for “knowledge and technology output and creative output”, with the country producing the fourth most patents per capita in the world while also having a world-beating creative industry.

Swiss companies and universities given high praise

The large international companies that call Switzerland home also had their part to play in the alpine nation’s success. Pharmaceutical giants Roche and Novartis, both based in Basel, were included in WIPO's top 20 most innovative companies in the world for 2023. Swiss universities also did well, with ETH in Zurich and EPF in Lausanne featuring in the equivalent top 20 ranking for higher education.

The country performed worst - sixth and seventh in the world mind you - in the human capital and research and market sophistication categories. This was partly thanks to a comparatively low amount of spending on Swiss schools as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, and the country’s economic reliance on specific specialised industries like pharmaceuticals and banking.

The 10 most innovative countries in the world for 2023

In all, these are the most innovative countries in the world, according to the latest ranking by the WIPO.

  1. Switzerland
  2. Sweden
  3. United States
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Singapore
  6. Finland 
  7. The Netherlands 
  8. Germany
  9. Denmark
  10. South Korea

For more information, and to see how other countries faired on the ranking, check out the official study.

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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