Innovation Key to Mitigating Effects of Urbanization: GII Report

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Innovation Key to Mitigating Effects of Urbanization: GII Report

By Beecher Tuttle

Telecom equipment giant Alcatel-Lucent was recently selected by INSEAD to take part in the creation of the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2011, a collaborative report that identifies the innovation capabilities and results of 125 economies.

The goal of the newly published report is to provide a non-partisan resource for policymakers, global organizations and other international stakeholders.

Topping the list of global innovators is Switzerland, which moved up from the fourth spot in last year's rankings. Following closely behind were Sweden, Singapore, Hong Kong, Finland and Denmark. The United States and Canada finished seventh and eighth respectively, while the Netherlands and the U.K. rounded out the top 10.

Each economy's grade was based on a combination of its innovation input and output. The input ranking was made up of five gauge elements that help foster innovation, including institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication and business sophistication. Each economy's output was based on 80 indicators of innovative success.

The United States moved up four spots from last year's rankings due to its high level of innovation output and efficiency. Interestingly, the U.S. was the only large nation in terms of size and population to crack the top 10.

In addition to highlighting the innovation potential of nearly every economy, the report also touches on the importance of embracing and supporting innovative efforts in both developed and emerging nations. The GII explains how innovation can inspire economic and social development as well as identifies the conditions that are necessary to foster such change.

"The Global Innovation Index is laying the foundation for a global conversation of the role of innovation…it is making an essential contribution to the promotion of open innovation as a basic operating principal for the global community," noted Alcatel-Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen in his forward to the GII report.

In chapter 4 of the report, Alcatel-Lucent's team of authors explain how innovation – particularly in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) field – can help minimize the impact of widespread urbanization as well as contribute to environmentally and economically sustainable cities.

Alcatel Lucent's Kurt Steinert noted in a blog post that managing the growth of cities through innovation is a key step moving forward because urbanization is the "world’s biggest driver of economic activity and the biggest contributor to global climate change."

Joining Alcatel-Lucent as knowledge partners were the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) of the United Nations, Booz & Company, and the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Click here to check out the full report.

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