Finland cracked into the top five of the 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index, a ranking of the 50 most innovative economies in the world published by Bloomberg.
The country climbed two spots to fifth in the annual index with its total score of 83.26 – no more than 0.72 points behind second-place Sweden – largely because of an increase in the number of high technology companies, according to the privately-owned media company.
2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index:
1. South Korea (89.00 points)
2. Sweden (83.98 points)
3. Germany (83.92 points)
4. Switzerland (83.64 points)
5. Finland (83.26 points)
6. Singapore (83.22 points)
7. Japan (82.64 points)
8. Denmark (81.93 points)
9. United States (81.44 points)
10. Israel (81.23 points)
The Bloomberg Innovation Index ranks economies based on factors ranging from patent activity, researcher concentration, and research and development spending to high technology density and productivity.
Finland ranked in the top five in researcher concentration (3rd), research and development intensity (4th), patent activity (5th) and tertiary efficiency (5th), but well outside the top ten in high technology density (15th) and productivity (20th).
South Korea retained its position at the top of the index, ranking first in three of the seven categories – value-added manufacturing, patent activity, and research and development intensity – and inside the top five in three of the remaining four categories.
Sweden, in turn, owes its rise towards the top of the index to its improved performance in the value-added manufacturing category. Åsa Lindholm Dahlstrand, a professor at the Centre for Innovation, Research and Competence at Lund University, Sweden, also attributes the rise to the country's continuing commitment to research and development spending.
“There's a lot of focus on R&D in Sweden. We've seen what has happened in a lot of other countries where they didn't do it,” she told Bloomberg.
Finland, on the other hand, has continued to cut back on research and development funding. Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland (TEK) and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) recently published a barometer indicating that Finland is one of only few OECD countries where the real value of investments in research and development has declined for an extended period of time.
TEK in a press release points out not only that public spending on research and development has declined for five consecutive years but also that the private sector is increasingly reluctant to invest in research and development. The majority of the investments made, it adds, have been made in further development instead of new ideas.
“Finland is falling behind the frontrunners of innovation, which is already having a clear impact on our competitiveness,” says Pekka Pellinen, the director of TEK.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi