Every country wants to foster a culture of innovation, but it’s not easy to do.
In the past, people were able to survive even with very limited amounts of innovation. But in this century we are not only people anymore, we are consumers.
Consumer expectations also drive the amount of innovation in the market. Customers are used to products that continually improve and make their life easier. Consumers are more informed and have more options in terms of what they buy and who they buy it from. Innovation is important as it is one of the primary ways to differentiate from the competition. Being first to market with a new product can provide you with a significant advantage in terms of building a customer base. It is difficult to compete if your products are seen as obsolete or out of date. Well a country is an organization and it must provide the best way of life to its own citizens.
Bloomberg’s 2015 ranking of the world’s 50 most innovative countries takes a prosaic approach to the question, focusing on six tangible activities that contribute to innovation. South Korea tops this year’s overall ranking. The U.S. places sixth while China 22nd.
The EU has closed half of the innovation gap towards the US. However, the differences in the innovation performance within the EU are still very high and diminish only slowly. The European Commission drew up the Regional Innovation scoreboard based on a composed index which sees, from many years, the first group of countries leads the ranking. States in which the innovation performance is well above that of the EU more than 20% above the EU average. These are Denmark, Finland, Germany and Sweden.
The second group of innovation followers, less than 20% above, or more than 90%: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Slovenia and the UK. Moderate innovators are Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain while the Modest ones are Bulgaria, Latvia, and Romania.
Culture is one of the main differences between these groupings. Try to find out where is cultivated an inclusive culture and where individuals are inspired to create themselves, to find links and connections that ultimately fuel business solutions and drive new innovation.
For instance, a reduction in gender inequality is an important indicator of long-term economic growth. Creating gender-equal conditions in the way that power and resources are organized in the household, in labour markets and in the activities of the state. Inclusion, in its larger meaning, is one of the first indicators of innovation. There are not only the business performance, the alternative energy production, the research and development department. Innovation is not “progress” fortunately. Not only coal and farm anymore.
Diversity and inclusion could close some gaps, where technology takes time to arrive.