Costa Rica is the 2nd most innovative economy in Latin America, according to the Global Innovation Index (GII) developed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The study highlights Costa Rica in the indicators of business sophistication, creative production of goods and services, and quality of human resources, which allowed it to climb 6 positions in the ranking with respect to the previous year. In total, our country obtained 38.40 points on a base of 100.

GII Chart 2018

Latin America is a region with important potential for innovation, but one that is not exploited”, the study describes. This commitment to innovation attracts more foreign capital in the first instance, and that means an increase in employment, being able to locate professionals who have graduated inside and outside the country and that there is no export of intellectual capital”, believes Cindy Torres, a researcher from the University of Costa Rica.

The GII places Costa Rica among the leaders of the Latin American region. In this ranking, the country is 2nd in Latin America and the Caribbean; that is, 2nd only to Chile, while among the 128 countries analyzed, it ranked 54th. The degree of innovation was obtained after evaluating about 80 indicators such as education and training expenses, the facility for the creation of companies, export of services, and others.

In several areas, Costa Rica has proven to be a potential source of innovation

However, in the list, no country in Latin America appears in the top 20 positions. On the other hand, the leading nations in innovation are Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Sweden (obtaining scores of 68.40, 63.32, and 63.08, respectively). While the worst evaluated were: Yemen (with a score of 7.90), Burkina Faso (added 8.30 units), and Togo (9.96 points) in positions 126, 125, and 124, respectively. This index is published every year by Cornell University in the United States, in conjunction with the WIPO, and in collaboration with the French business school Insead.

The most innovative countries in Latin America

  1. Chile

It ranks 47th, with 37.79 points, and stands out in the quality of regulation, enrollment in higher education, access to credit, companies that offer formal training, the creation of new companies and flows of entry and exit of foreign direct investment. It ranks 44th overall, thanks to high ratings in the indicators of institutions, infrastructure, and business development. Their greatest progress was achieved in the sophistication of markets and the innovation in business.

  1. Costa Rica

It ranks 54th, with 35.72 units. Its best indicators were in the categories of education spending, access to credit, production per worker, payments for intellectual property, export of ICT services, and others. It has climbed 6 positions in regards to the past report, thanks to advances in business sophistication, and creative production of goods and services, being number 18 in the ranking in terms of education level. Its highest rating was in the institution’s indicator, with 66 points.

  1. México

It had a score of 35.34. In the Americas, it is among the top 10 countries with facilities to obtain credit, technical manufacturing, import and net export of technology, and creative products. It is 3rd in the regional ranking, but it is far from Costa Rica and Chile, ranked 61st in the world. The areas in which it has the potential to improve are risk capital and investment in software, according to the study.

  1. Uruguay

It is located in position 62 with 34.20 units. That represented a rise of 6 posts with respect to the previous edition, by obtaining good scores in institutions -in the part of the infrastructure, highlighted in telecommunications and energy, and also in the dimension of creative production. It is 62 in the global positioning, and its main strength is the solidity of its institutions, which enjoy a good political and regulatory environment for business. Its weakness is technological innovation, with only 21 points.

  1. Colombia

To complete the top 5 in Latin America, it is ranked 63rd in the world, with an overall score of 34 units. It has its best qualifications in the institutional part and infrastructure, with scores greater than 50. It can improve in technological innovation, according to the report.