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Investments in Science and Innovation Thrived During COVID-19

A new report by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) found that investments into research and development (R&D) thrived at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and continued to boom in 2021. The report, Global Innovation Index 2022, indicates that innovation saw a spike, despite the pandemic-induced global recession and economic lockdowns in many countries.

The report, which ranks global economies on innovation capacity and output, placed Switzerland, the United States, Sweden, United Kingdom and the Netherlands as the most innovative economies in the world. As for Southeast Asia, Singapore ranked highest in the Global Innovation Index in the 7th spot. While other countries in the region ranked lower, they improved in the rankings since the 2021 Global Innovation Index. As a whole, the Southeast Asia region has made the greatest advances over the past decade. In fact, two economies lead in key innovation indicators: Vietnam leads in high-tech imports, and the Philippines in high-tech exports.

Other Highlights from the 2022 Global Innovation Index

Intellectual property (IP) filing activity rose during the pandemic, and international trademark filings jumped up 15%.

The number of scientific articles published worldwide continued to grow steadily, surpassing 2 million articles for the first time in 2021, and representing a year-on-year growth rate of 8.3%– another sign that scientific research is vibrant.

WIPO’s Global Innovation Index 2022 continues to demonstrate how investments in science and innovation rose to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and how these investments are continuing to grow in Southeast Asia. Governments in the region can further improve their global standing by pursuing pro-innovation policies, such as facilitating intellectual property protection and enforcement.

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