Innovation is the process of turning ideas into products, services or processes that are new to the market or represent significant improvements on what is already available. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Innovation Ranking measures a country’s ability to encourage, adopt and create new technologies and ideas. The ranking is based on a survey of business executives, who are asked to rate their country on a range of factors, including investment in research and development, the availability of skilled workers, the regulatory environment and the level of cooperation between businesses and universities. The ranking also considers data from the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Economic Forum.
The top five countries in the 2019 Innovation Ranking are Switzerland, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom and Denmark. These countries all score highly on measures of business investment in research and development, the availability of skilled workers, and the level of cooperation between businesses and universities. They also have well-established systems for protecting intellectual property rights and fostering entrepreneurship.