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UAE ranked first in Arab world in innovation

Country is 38th most innovative in the world, according to Global Innovation Index

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The UAE retained its number one ranking in the Arab world at this year’s edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII). The country ranked 38th globally.

The ranking reflect improvements in indicators such as government online services, intensity of local competition, gross expenditure on research and development financed by business and foreign direct investment net outflows.

Sultan Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said that the UAE’s position across the Arab world can be attributed to last year’s score growth rate of 10 per cent, which was one of the highest percentage score growth rates among all countries in the GII.

“We are continuing to lead the area in the field on innovation as the UAE sustained its performance in this year’s Global Innovation Index,” he said. “This position is a testament to our continuing efforts towards investing in talent and maintaining strong partnerships between the government and the private sector.”

According to a statement released by WAM on Tuesday, the UAE is now implementing a strategic roadmap that aims to improve both its short-term and long-term results in the GII by the year 2021, with the goal of positioning the UAE as one of the top 10 innovation leaders in the world. Some of the initiatives being rolled out include the move to unlock intellectual property attractiveness; the promotion of a unified network aimed at encouraging fundamental research collaboration between universities, the private sector, and government; identifying, connecting and tracking the impact made by these innovation-based initiatives and the move to bolster the financing of innovation for all UAE companies via venture capital.

The index, which is an annual ranking of countries by their capacity for, and success in, innovation, measures the innovation-related performance of 126 countries and economies representing the vast proportion of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This year’s index was calculated based on detailed measures of innovation inputs and outputs, including 80 indicators providing insights on the various areas of innovation, most notably institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication, business sophistication, knowledge and technology outputs, and creative outputs.

The GII is commonly used by corporate and government officials to compare countries by their level of innovation and aims to provide a measure for assessing and improving innovation and helping promote its role as a catalyst for growth and prosperity.

The GII is also recognised as one of several key indices under the UAE National Agenda’s ‘Competitive Knowledge-based Economy’ pillar, which is overseen by the Ministry of Economy in partnership with several private and public entities including the Ministry of Education, the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, the Central Bank, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization, the Ministry of Finance, the Securities and Commodities Authority, and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, among others.

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