America Maintains its primacy in Innovation

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Here’s a good lesson on why you shouldn’t trust secondary sources:I sat down and grabbed a coffee and read Alec Saunders reporting that:

The BBC is reporting this morning that the World Economic Forum has said that the US has lost its position as the worlds primary engine of technology innovation. A cluster of European nations, led by Denmark, has pushed America out of the #1 spot, to a distant #7.

That surprised me. Because well… he’s wrong.More accurately the BBC is wrong. The report the BBC and Alec are talking about is available here.I read portions of it this morning. The report had little to do with innovation but everything to do with “Information and communication technology” and those affects on innovations or:

The Global Information Technology Report (GITR) has become the world’s most respected assessment of the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on the development process and the competitiveness of nations. The Networked Readiness Index (NRI) measures the propensity of countries to leverage the opportunities offered by ICT for development and increased competitiveness. It also establishes a broad international framework mapping out the enabling factors of such capacity.

In Laymans terms: the NRI shows the network readiness index and the GITR believes this is a signifigant driver of innovatoion going forward. The NRI is where Denmark came out on top. Why did denmark come out top?

For the first time, Denmark tops the rankings of The Global Information Technology Report 2006-2007’s “Networked Readiness Index”, as a culmination of an upward trend since 2003. Denmark’s outstanding levels of networked readiness have to do with the country’s excellent regulatory environment, coupled with a clear government leadership and vision in leveraging ICT for growth and promoting ICT penetration and usage

You can read some neat analysis on the report here.

The United States loses its top position and drops 6 places to 7th, mainly due to relative deterioration of the political and regulatory environment. However, the country maintains its primacy in innovation, driven by one of the world’s best tertiary education systems and its high degree of cooperation with the industry as well as by the extremely efficient market environment displayed. The latter has been very conducive to the development and prospering of the ICT sector (in particular, the availability of venture-capital, sophistication of the financial market and the ease to start a business).

So America has primacy in innovation? but the BBC begs to differ… the report was “Networked Readiness” not on innovation. Well done Denmark! Awful job BBC!

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Hi. My name is Matt Roberts, you can find me at

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