Technological innovation is the key to a competitive and growing economy, unlocking major productivity gains and allowing companies to move towards higher value-added activities.

The World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Report evaluates 144 of the world’s economies on various measures of innovation – including the quality of scientific research institutions and spending on R&D – to produce an overall global ranking.

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Finland emerges as the most innovative country in the world, with Switzerland coming a close second. Three other European nations are in the top 10 – Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Asian nations are also prominent, with Japan, Singapore and Taiwan all taking top spots. Israel and the United States complete the top 10.

If you’d like to learn more, read 10 ways countries can improve their competitiveness and What is government’s role in sparking innovation?

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Author: Paul Muggeridge is Head of Content at Formative Content.

Image: A labourer cleans solar cells placed on a window of a newly constructed solar housing complex in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal