THE Philippines ranked as the 74th most innovative country among 128 economies surveyed by the 2016 Global Innovation Index (GII), climbing nine notches from its previous ranking.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) welcomed the report jointly released on Wednesday by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell University and INSEAD which ranked 128 economies in terms of their GII based on 82 indicators.
Top countries with the highest GII scores include Switzerland, Sweden, the UK, the US, Finland and Singapore.
“We are happy to know that through this GII survey, we know how our country has improved and how Filipinos can achieve the innovation economy that we all aspire for. This would push us to extend more efforts in making innovation a mindset for every Filipino,” DTI Industry Promotion Group Undersecretary Nora Terrado said in a statement.
The report discusses the growing importance of innovation among countries today in achieving future economic growth and the sharing of knowledge cross-border through global innovation networks.
With GII, it includes indicators that go beyond the traditional measures of innovation such as the level of research and development that can be applied for both developed and emerging economies.
According to the report, the Philippines’ biggest gain was in human capital and research, where the Philippines ranked 95th from 123rd in 2015. It measures the quality of the country’s education with its research and development.
“Innovation encompasses intensified research and development activities among universities and we hope to tap higher educational institutions with the help of other agencies like the Department of Science and Technology [DOST],” Terrado said.
She also highlighted the collaboration of DTI and the private sector in advancing the Startup Ecosystem Development Program (SEDP), which will help enhance the climate for startup businesses and increase the success rate of Filipino innovative enterprises in introducing their products and services in the local and international markets.
The report also said the country surged in six other GII indicators: institution (88th from 102nd), infrastructure (72nd from 83rd), market sophistication (94th from 101st), business sophistication (74th from 81st), knowledge and technology outputs (44th from 53rd), and creative outputs (96th from 101st).
In recent months, the DTI has been aggressive in forwarding programs and activities that would encourage innovation among local entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs. Started during the APEC Manila 2015 hosting, SlingShot MNL was one of the pioneering programs of the department that caters to the needs of the startup sector.
Earlier this year, the DTI held a series of dialogues and consultations under the SlingShot Philippines program with the academe, private sector, other government agencies, foreign venture capitalists and individuals to seek further support in achieving the innovation economy.
At present, the DTI has established the QBO Innovation Hub with IdeaSpace Foundation which aims to encourage and address the needs of the growing startup and innovation ecosystem.
It also launched the Food Connection Innovation Hub at the Philippine Trade Training Center which will target innovative enterprises in the processed food sector.
DTI reiterated its call for existing exporters to innovate as part of the strategies included in the 2015-2017 Philippine Export Development Plan.