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Home arrow Power and Energy arrow India has a long way to go when it comes to innovation & creativity
India has a long way to go when it comes to innovation & creativity Print E-mail
Written by Anand, Arjun   
Tuesday, 13 January 2009

India slips from 23rd to 41st rank in the Global Innovation Index 2008.

New Delhi: The Second Global Innovation Index 2008 (GII) jointly published by Confederation of Indian Industry and INSEAD Business School, has placed India at the 41st position. The GII that has studied 130 countries has ranked Germany in the second position, followed by Sweden, the United Kingdom and Singapore.

Singapore and South Korea are two Asian countries figuring in the top 10. However, Japan has slipped to the 9th position from the 4th and India its last year's ranking of 23 to the 41st position.

United States is at the top of the Global Innovation Rankings. The European economies including the Nordic ones continued to do well in 2008. Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands figured in the top 10 apart from Germany, Sweden and UK that figure in the top 5. However France has slipped from the 5th to 19th position.

With China ranked at 37, most BRIC countries have been ranked lower than last time. Israel and Qatar from West Asia and Middle East find places in the top 25. There are other countries from the Middle East just below this quartile.

The GII results have revealed that innovation is correlated with income levels in a country. For example, the innovation levels in the OECD countries are much more than non-OECD countries. There are few countries from Africa that are included in the rankings with only South Africa coming in at the 43rd position.

When contacted for a response to this finding, creativity researcher, Dr. Prasad Sundararajan said, "Historically, the so-called R&D has never been an integral part of organizations. Companies are asking for innovation and creativity only to compete with each other and capture the market. They manage small modifications to already existing products or ideas. No original inventions are ever produced."

"All creativity happens outside organizations, mostly by individuals in forlorn space locations. R&D is an extremely peripheral concept, a typically mechanical way of covering up the truth behind – 'creative intelligence'. Till recently the R-D never talked about creativity and innovation. They are yet to discover what is required for creativity and innovation."

Speaking about our education selection process, he added, "There are various groups of people involved in various technology, like blacksmiths, goldsmiths, leather workers, textile workers. None of them are given any preference for admission to corresponding courses. If a blacksmith was given preference for engineering he would have done wonders. Similarly if a leather worker was given preference in leather technology he would do wonders. There is still a third world mind set where Indian people are driven by money, safety and security."

"The so called brain drain is happening even now. That is the culture of India. New Ideas are recognised only after they have gained global acceptance. In India, majority of the people are getting up in the morning and doing the hard work of conformity."

"At least the R&D department of a company has to be modeled like an advertising agency. Any one should be able to come and say "Can I try this". You can just go and say "I can do it." That should be the way an R&D setup should function."

Over the years, through its own research, INSEAD has examined the many factors enabling national economies to achieve sustained and higher innovation capabilities. The goal has been to provide benchmarking tools for business leaders and policymakers to identify obstacles to improved innovation and competitiveness and stimulate discussion on strategies to overcome them. This time and earlier in 2007, INSEAD based its innovation analysis on the Global Innovation Index (GII) and Framework, a highly comprehensive index for measuring global innovation, which captures the microeconomic and macroeconomic parameters and variables.

CII has over the years, taken a pioneering role in building a culture of innovation in Indian industry and society. It is CII's belief that the only way for Indian industry to have sustainable and inclusive growth is to adopt innovation as a business strategy. With this belief, a number of initiatives have been taken by CII in the area of innovation. To make a successful plan and roadmap for action, there is a need for India to align the measurement gauge with similar benchmark practices adopted globally.

Innovation is no longer restricted to the vertical structures of R&D laboratories and universities. Therefore an approach that goes beyond the number of patents registered, number of articles published in research journals and percentage of GDP spending on R&D measuring innovation is needed. This is the key assumption behind the approach used in this study.

Details of the study

GII while arriving at the results has made a distinction between inputs and outputs while measuring innovation in an economy. Inputs are aspects that enable an economy to stimulate innovative and outputs are the results of innovative activities within the economy. The input pillars include Institutions and Policies, Human Capacity, General and ICT Infrastructure, Market Sophistication and Business Sophistication. The output pillars that provide evidence of the results of innovation within the economy are Knowledge Creation, Competitiveness and Wealth Creation.

The data for the GII was collected from reputed international organizations such as the World Economic Forum, the World Bank and the International Telecommunications Union. In particular, a combination of qualitative and quantitative data is used for the computation of the GII. The qualitative data is obtained from the Executive Opinion Survey, a global CEO survey conducted by the World Economic Forum.

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