Connecting Dots Across Asia's Tech and Urban Landscape
Connecting Dots Across Asia's Tech and Urban Landscape

Singapore Retains Top Spot As Asia’s Most Innovative Nation

Singapore has retained its overall top ranking as Asia’s most innovative nation in the latest Global Innovation Index (GII) released by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Cornell University & INSEAD. It has held this position since 2014.

The GII ranks world economies according to their innovation capabilities. Consisting of roughly 80 indicators, grouped into innovation inputs and outputs, the GII aims to capture the multi-dimensional facets of innovation.

Singapore continued to top the Innovation Input Sub-Index1 and maintained its 15th position in the Innovation Output Sub-Index2. Singapore also ranked number 1 (from 36th last year) for the ‘Knowledge Workers – females employed with advanced degrees’ indicator for the first time. This indicator measures the proportion of female employees with advanced degrees, out of the total employed.

A new indicator ‘Global brand value’ was added to the GII for the first time. It better recognises the commercial importance of brands in the marketplace. This indicator looks at the total value of a country’s brands in Brand Finance’s top 5,000 global brand database, as a proportion of GDP. Singapore was ranked 13th.

In the ‘Creative output’ pillar, Singapore saw a big jump in its ranking, moving up several notches from 34th to 18th. The report also highlighted improvements in IP-related output indicators such as ‘Patents by origin’ (up one spot to 32) and ‘Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patents by origin’ (up one to 19).

Singapore continued to perform well (ranked 1st globally) in the traditionally strong indicators of ‘Political and operational stability’, ‘Government effectiveness’, ‘Tertiary education’ and ‘High tech manufacturing’. Ranked 2nd globally in ‘Government’s online service’, ‘Regulatory environment’, ‘Investment’ and ‘knowledge intensive’ employment, the continued good performance in these indicators are a nod to the country’s efforts to build a strong and active IP regime. Singapore also improved on the ‘Mobile app creation’ indicator, moving up three places to 7th globally.

Said IPOS CE Mrs Rena Lee: “We are pleased with the overall rankings, which reflect our ongoing innovation journey. IPOS’ digital efforts, which are part of the national digital transformation roadmap, have been accelerated by COVID-19 and continues to bolster our position as an innovation hub. Besides being fully digital for all our IP application services since 2014, IPOS has enhanced our mobile app for trademark applications, the first of its kind in the world, conducted fully virtual IP dispute hearings, converted our face-to-face trainings to online modules and increased the frequency of complimentary online IP business and legal clinics. IPOS is continuously innovating to give enterprises a business edge during the pandemic where time is of the essence. We are also encouraged to see significant movement in the indicator measuring the proportion of female employees with advanced degrees as well as our credible showing in the inaugural ‘Global brand value’ indicator.”

Globally, Singapore has maintained its position as the eighth most innovative country in the world, standing alongside traditional powerhouses Switzerland, Sweden, United States of America, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Denmark and Finland.


Innovation Input Sub Index: Gauges elements of the national economy which embody innovative activities. 

Innovation Output Sub-Index: Captures actual evidence of innovation results. 

About IPOS 

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) helps businesses use IP and intangible assets to grow. We are committed to building Singapore into an international hub for intangible assets and IP to drive Singapore’s future growth. We are a government agency under the Ministry of Law.

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