Idea Storm Blog - Most innovative countries and companies


In today’s blog I wanted to look at the most innovative countries and companies with a South African aspect in each.

Most innovative countries

In January the 2018 Bloomberg innovation index was released.

The top 15 most innovative countries are:

  1. South Korea

  2. Sweden

  3. Singapore

  4. Germany

  5. Switzerland

  6. Japan

  7. Finland

  8. Denmark

  9. France

  10. Israel

  11. USA

  12. Austria

  13. Ireland

  14. Belgium

  15. Norway

The index ranks countries based on seven equally-weighted metrics using data collected from economic institutions like the World Bank and the IMF: R&D intensity, manufacturing value-added, productivity, high-tech density, efficiency of tertiary education, researcher concentration, and patent activity.

South Africa moved back into the top 50 with a position of 48. The Borden Project did some research on the most innovative countries in Africa and South Africa is number two behind Mauritius.

“Of these countries on this list, South Africa makes the news the most in regards to its innovative capacity. The main limiting factor for the country has been its inability to maintain and grow innovative thinkers, many of whom are lost to emigration to the U.S. and the U.K. If this trend can be reversed, the country would see a strong change in the tide as it moves up the innovation list.” – The Borden Project

The U.S. dropped out of the top 10 for the first time in 6 years due to a decline in new science and engineering graduates and value-added manufacturing.

The most innovative companies

According to Forbes the most innovative companies in the world in 2018 are:

  1. ServiceNow

  2. Workday

  3. Salesforce.com

  4. Tesla

  5. Amazon.com

  6. Netflix

  7. Incyte

  8. Hindustan Unilever

  9. Naver

  10. Facebook

Interestingly Apple, Google and other often recognised companies don’t make the Forbes list.

However they both appear on the BCG global innovation survey. Their top ten list is:

  1. Apple

  2. Google

  3. Microsoft

  4. Amazon

  5. Samsung

  6. Tesla

  7. Facebook

  8. IBM

  9. Uber

  10. Alibaba

The innovative large companies in South Africa are according to The SA Innovation League () are:

  1. Legal Aid South Africa

  2. Vodacom

  3. FNB

The full article can be found here.

Hopefully South Africa can rise in the country innovation table and that South African companies can become increasingly innovative.

If you would like to contact me please do so at lance@ideastorm.co.za or leave a message on this blog.

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