Ireland's economy ranked 14th in the world for innovation - Bloomberg

Ireland was ranked in first place globally for manufacturing capability and productivity. Photo: John Coveney
By Marita Moloney

Ireland's economy has been ranked 14th in the world for innovation, according to the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index.

The annual index, compiled by the financial news outlet, analyses various criteria using seven metrics, including spending on research and development, the concentration of high-tech companies, productivity, patent activity, and manufacturing capability.

South Korea topped the list again this year, with Germany, Finland, Switzerland and Israel making up the top five.

Ireland's economy was ranked as the ninth most innovative economy in Europe, with Sweden, France, Denmark, Austria and Belgium all achieving higher scores.

However, it was placed higher than other major economies, including China (16th), the UK (18th), Australia (19th), and Canada (20th).

Ireland was also ranked in first place globally in two categories: manufacturing capability and productivity.

Other countries on the 200-strong index include Russia (27th), Hong Kong (38th) and India (54th).

Of the top 60, Romania saw the biggest jump in the rankings since last year, moving up six spots, while Tunisia had the biggest drop of those economies assessed by Bloomberg, moving down nine places.

Ireland moved down one place after its 13th place ranking in 2018.

This is the seventh year of the Innovation Index, with each economy scored on a 0-100 scale based on seven equally weighted categories.

Countries who did not have data for at least six categories were eliminated, which meant the total list included 95 nations.

The data was sourced by Bloomberg, the IMF, World Bank, OECD, International Labour Organisation, World Intellectual Property Organisation, and the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

The OECD's economic forecast, released last November, predicts that economic activity in Ireland will remain robust, but will ease gradually, over the next two years.

However, it warned that productivity gaps between local businesses and multinationals are widening, and recommended that the ideas and technology present in high-performing foreign companies should be encouraged in local firms.

The release of Bloomberg's analysis today coincides with the first day of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is due to speak on Thursday at The New Impetus for Europe session during which European leaders will discuss how to address the region's biggest challenges.

Also on Thursday, Minister for Finance Pashal Donohoe will take part in the Rethinking Taxes: Creating a Fair and Balanced System session which will address how governments can design more effective taxation systems.

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