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Fri 16 Jun 2017 12:52 AM

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Revealed: how the UAE ranks globally on innovation

New study shows UAE is 35th most innovative economy in the world; Switzerland named number 1

Revealed: how the UAE ranks globally on innovation
The UAE plans to build homes on Mars by 2117. (Image: Dubai Media Office)

The UAE, which earlier this year launched a project to build homes on Mars by 2117, has been named the Gulf's most innovative country.

The UAE was ranked 35th globally in the Global Innovation Index 2017 co-authored by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

The report said the UAE benefits from increased data availability and shows strengths in tertiary inbound mobility, innovation clusters and ICT-driven business model innovation.

Recently, Dubai has launched its first robotic police officer while its transport authority announced plans to transform 25 percent of all public transport journeys into self-driving trips by 2030.

Dubai was also recently dubbed the City of the Future and the UAE Country of the Future by Popular Science magazine, one of the world’s oldest science and technology journals.

The UAE was ranked ahead of Qatar (49th), Saudi Arabia (55th), Kuwait (56th), Bahrain (66th) and Oman (77th), according to the report which covered a total of 130 economies around the world.

Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the US and the UK were named the world’s five most innovative countries.

Key findings also showed the rise of India as an emerging innovation centre in Asia.

The report noted a continued gap in innovative capacity between developed and developing nations and lacklustre growth rates for research and development (R&D) activities, both at the government and corporate levels.

“Innovation is the engine of economic growth in an increasingly knowledge-based global economy, but more investment is needed to help boost human creativity and economic output,” said WIPO director general Francis Gurry. “Innovation can help transform the current economic upswing into longer-term growth.”

In 2017, Switzerland leads the rankings for the seventh consecutive year, with high-income economies taking 24 of the top 25 spots – China is the exception at 22. In 2016, China became the first-ever middle income economy in the top 25.

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