The report of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) showed that the Sultanate has advanced 8 spots in the Global Innovation Index (GII) for the year 2021, and is now ranked 76th globally on the index.
The index also indicated that the Sultanate advanced 19 ranks in the Innovation Output Sub-Index and one rank in the Innovation Input Sub-Index. This advance made in the ranking reflects the integration achieved by the key players in the national innovation system.
The Sultanate achieved advanced ranks globally in a number of sub-indicators, including the first globally in the ratio of science and engineering graduates out of the total graduates, the tenth globally in the Higher Education indicator and 13th globally in the indicator of Government Expenditure on School Students and also ranked 13th on the Economy and Investment indicator. The Sultanate ranked 18th globally in the net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) indicator. In the digital applications production indicator, the Sultanate ranked 23 globally, and ranked 24 globally in the government e-services indicator.
The results of the GII also revealed that the Sultanate has achieved low ranks in a number of indicators that need improvement in the next stage, including the knowledge and technology output indicator, the knowledge absorption indicator, the research and development expenditure indicator, the ease of access to credit indicator, and the industrial designs indicator.
Dr. Sharifa bint Hamoud Al Harthiya, Director General of Research at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MoHERI), and Director of the National Innovation Strategy (NIS), expressed her happiness with the Sultanate’s progress achieved in these ranks during 2021, despite of all the challenges facing the Sultanate and various countries of the world, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Sharifa pointed that the positive factors that contributed to the progress of the Sultanate include the response and cooperation among the relevant institutions, as well as the rise of the creativity outputs-related initiatives, including the digital applications launched by Omani youth, which had a positive impact in overcoming the challenges faced by society.
Director of the NIS praised the efforts put by the institutions, including the adjustment of the legislations and policies and the enhancement of the innovation environment across the various fields. Dr. Sharifa stressed on the importance of continuing with the efforts that will help the Sultanate achieve higher rates in the coming years to ensure that no decline is recorded in the ranking as compared to the current situation.
“Despite of this progress in the overall Global Innovation Index and a number of sub-indexes, we, in various institutions need more diligent work to achieve better results, due to the Sultanate’s elements that help it compete globally in various indicators,” Al Harthiya said.
According to Dr. Sharifa, due to the lack in the inputs provided by some of the Sultanate’s concerned institutions, the GII has not provided information on 10 of the indicators, while data in 9 other indicators has not been updated yet. The data emphasized the importance of cooperation and rapid response from the institutions concerned with these indicators, which will have a positive impact on updating this data in the next edition of the GII. This will help bridge these gaps and that will reflect positively in the overall index.
It is worth noting that the GII provides a comprehensive vision and detailed metrics of the performance of innovation around the world across its various fields. It is based on two main sub-indexes; the Innovation Input Sub-Index and the Innovation Output Sub-Index. The Innovation Input Sub-Index measures the factors of the national economy that include innovative activities and is based on five areas; institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication, and business sophistication. While the Innovation Output Sub-Index measures the real evidence of innovation results, which in turn is divided into two areas; namely technological and knowledge outputs, and creative outputs. The pillars contain up to 80 main and sub-indicators. Among the indicators that require special focus is the indicator of research competence in the industrial and private sector as it shows the importance of the private sector’s involvement as a key and strategic partner in the research and innovation system, through the budgets it dedicates for supporting research and development. Indicators are eventually divided into four basic measures, which are calculated together to form the overall index of a country. These indicators are the Innovation Input Sub-Index, the Innovation Output Sub-Index, and the overall GII score.