New Delhi: When it comes to how its domestic policies support worldwide innovation, India ranked 54th, according to a recent report by US-based global technology policy think tank Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).
The report, which assesses 56 countries, places India third from last as an “Innovation Mercantilist” with a score of -15.5, just above Indonesia and Argentina, which were ranked 55th and 56th, respectively.
The report seeks to assess how countries’ economic and trade policies “can either help or hurt global innovation”. It adds that while policies such as “robust investment and tax incentives for research and education support global innovation”, policies such as “export subsidies or forced localization harm global innovation”.
Two European countries—Finland and the Sweden, categorized as “Schumpeterian”—were ranked first and second, respectively. Singapore, ranked fourth, was categorized as an “Advanced Asian Tiger”.
“Robust innovation is essential for economic growth and progress,” the report’s co-author and vice-president for global innovation at ITIF said in a statement. “As countries increasingly vie for leadership in the innovation economy, they can implement policies that try to benefit only themselves but harm the production of innovation in the rest of the world. Or they can implement ‘win-win’ policies that bolster their own innovation capacity while also generating positive spillovers for the entire global economy. For innovation to flourish around the world, we need a system that is doing much more of the latter.”
The authors of the report examined 14 factors “that not only support innovation domestically but have positive spillover effects globally, such as supportive tax systems and investment in R&D and human capital, and another 13 factors that have negative spillover effects, such as forced localization and weak intellectual property protection”.
India’s ranking, the report said, “reflected a combination of policies that the report found to be the 13th worst in their positive contribution to the global innovation ecosystem and also the 3rd most damaging”.
The other key takeaway from the report was that it found “a strong correlation between countries’ contributions to global innovation and their levels of domestic innovation success, meaning that doing well domestically on innovation policy can also mean doing well for the world”.
Robert D. Atkinson, ITIF president and co-author of the report, said, “While policymakers are primarily focused on the interests of their own citizens, they usually overlook the fact that adopting policies that also happen to be good for the global innovation ecosystem will compound the benefits for their citizens.” He added, “Innovation altruism really does pay.”