Ireland rises to seventh in innovation league table

Ireland has moved up to seventh place in a global ranking of the world's most innovative economies.

Switzerland retained its lead in the Global Innovation Index 2016 which is published by Cornell University in the US, French business school Insead and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a United Nations agency. War-torn Yemen ranked last.

Ireland's overall placing was boosted by its top ranking for Royalty and Licence fee payments into the economy. In many cases, including companies like Apple and Facebook, that can reflect the income of Irish units of multinational corporations that hold intellectual property assets here that have been developed elsewhere.

However, Ireland also ranked number one globally in terms of high levels of foreign direct investment as a share of the economy, as well as for exports of computer services.

Other factors that helped lift Ireland's rating range from how easy it is to pay tax, the average number of years spent at school and even the number of edits made here to Wikipedia, the encyclopedia created and edit by users around the world.

Ireland scored poorly in terms of capital investment or gross capital formation, and is also classed as weak when it comes to exports of cultural and creative services.

The overall ranking is based on more than 80 individual indicators ranging across areas including the quality of institutionals and infrastructure to education, access to credit and creative output.

Ireland's ranking, up one place from last year, is ahead of other European Union economies including Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany as well as countries such as Israel and Australia often cited as dynamic economies.

This year China entered the top 25 in the list for the first time, becoming the first so called "middle income" economy to rank that highly.

According to the authors, investments in innovation is central to economic growth - including helping countries to reinvent themselves during periods of decline.



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