i3 | January 25, 2019

Top 16 Most Innovative Countries

Izzy Santa

The world’s most innovative countries are resilient in the face of adversity, boast high levels of entrepreneurship, and offer their citizens – and business owners – affordable high-speed internet connections. These trends are all on display in the second edition of CTA’s International Innovation Scorecard, an assessment of 61 countries and the European Union (EU).

This year, 16 countries earn the Scorecard’s highest honor, distinguishing themselves as Innovation Champions: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The countries are evaluated on a host of critical issues: Whether their governments welcome disruptive technologies, including drones, self-driving vehicles and sharing economy platforms; how friendly their tax systems are; how well they protect the environment; broadband speed and cost; human capital; research and development funding; and unicorn companies. What did these countries do especially well?

AUSTRALIA: Ridesharing services are now legal in all Australian territories.

CANADA: Over the last year, Canada saw a rise in its already large share of highly-skilled workers and a four percent increase in the number of graduates earning STEM degrees.

DENMARK: Denmark more than doubled its new business entry rate to 9.91 from 4.36 per 1,000 people aged 15-64.

ESTONIA: Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, is testing driverless public transit buses, placing it a step ahead of most other European nations.

FINLAND: Over the last year, Finland welcomed self-driving vehicles on public roads, though the vehicles need to provide drivers the option of taking control.

GERMANY: Testing of self-driving vehicles is also legal in Germany, if a backup driver is present behind the wheel and can take control in an emergency.

ISRAEL: Between 2009 and 2018, Israel became home to four startups worth at least $1 billion U.S.

LUXEMBOURG: Luxembourg is working with its neighbors to establish an international test track for self-driving vehicles.

NETHERLANDS: The Netherlands adjusted its regulations for recreational and commercial drone pilots to make them more consistent and improved its new business entry rate by 13 percent.

NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand set clearer and more explicit rules for drone operators and spurred drone research at the University of Canterbury.

NORWAY: Norway issued its first national drone strategy last year, laying out plans to create a national test center that enables drone pilots to develop their skills and complete a certification program

SINGAPORE: Singapore became the first country to test self-driving taxis

SWEDEN: In a push to support sustainable transportation innovation, Sweden now allows testing of self-driving vehicles with a permit and improved its short-term rental regulatory framework

SWITZERLAND: Switzerland supplies fast, affordable broadband to its population and spends a remarkably high portion of GDP (3.4 percent) on research and development.

UNITED KINGDOM: After revoking Uber’s license to operate in 2017, London gave the company a 15-month reprieve, and city authorities issued possible future guidelines, promising movements for ridesharing.

UNITED STATES: The U.S. cut its top corporate tax rate.

For more information, visit internationalscorecard.com