Bloomberg’s latest ranking of “the world’s most innovative countries,” published this Tuesday, puts Russia at the 27th place, between Malaysia and Luxembourg.
In Russia’s Eastern European neighborhood, Poland does better than Russia (22th place) but Romania (29th), Ukraine (53rd) and, most surprisingly, Estonia (36th) are behind.
South Korea retains the first place in this global ranking, followed by Germany – which Bloomberg praises for its progress in the fields of research and education – and Finland.
The USA moved up to eighth place, “a year after cracks in education scores pushed it out of the top 10 for the first time.”
No ranking science
In its seventh year, the annual Bloomberg Innovation Index “analyzes dozens of criteria using seven metrics.” The criteria include R&D spending, manufacturing capability and concentration of high-tech listed companies. The data comes from the International Labour Organization, the IMF, World Bank, the OECD, the World Intellectual Property Organization, UNESCO, in addition to Bloomberg’s own data.
It is a challenge to combine and weigh such a variety of criteria, hence the results from such rankings should be considered and interpreted very cautiously. In the case of Bloomberg’s latest ranking, Estonia’s place far behind Russia and Romania might raise skepticism from experts with knowledge of the Eastern European innovation scene (see EWDN study).
No less surprising was Russia’s place in the 2012 edition of the Bloomberg ranking: the country was ranked 14th, just between Norway (13th) and Belgium (15th) and well ahead of China (29th) and even Israel (32nd). That same year, Russia was ranked 51st on INSEAD’s Global Innovation Index (GII) and stood 85th on the Global Competitive Index of the World Economic Forum for criteria related to “innovation capacity.”