Dear Colleagues!  This is Asrar Qureshi’s Blog Post #733 for Pharma Veterans. Pharma Veterans welcome sharing of knowledge and wisdom by Veterans for the benefit of Community at large. Pharma Veterans Blog is published by Asrar Qureshi on WordPress, the top blog site. Please email to for publishing your contributions here.

These blogposts are based on WIPO – World Intellectual Property Rights Report on Global Innovation Index 2022.

During June of this year, I had presented findings from the Global Talent Competitive Index Report 2022 and showed in detail where did Pakistan stand among nations and among countries of the region. It was a series comprising of ten posts. The purpose was that we could understand the grimness of our situation and take some actions for improvement. The governments are not always the best place to start such processes, and governments in countries like Pakistan, are particularly too engrossed in corruption politics to do anything worthwhile. People in places of social and economic influence are in a better position to contribute.

The first blogpost #646 based on GTCI report may be accessed here.

The Global Innovation Index Report 2022 has been published recently by WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization. It has been prepared by Portulans Institute, in collaboration with several partners, advisors, contributors, and reviewers around the world. This is the fifteenth edition of GII report, and it is even more important because it comes in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic.

This report measures and ranks the state of innovation in 132 countries. The entire report is spread over 266 pages. I shall take out some major observations, the high-innovation countries, the low-innovation countries, and then focus on Pakistan as a single country. I shall also compare Pakistan against countries in our region to show where do we stand.

Innovation comes from research, therefore, expenditure on R&D – Research and Development, by corporates and/or governments, scientific articles published globally, IP – Intellectual Property filings, and VC – Venture Capital are good indicators of the status of innovation in a country. R&D supports every field; information technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, space research, industrial technology, agrarian technology, and so on. Many of these have direct impact on productivity, which in turn increases the GDP, per capita income, and improves living standards.

Some Key Takeaways

Innovation investments grew during COVID-19 pandemic and kept booming in 2021, but their present state is uncertain as the world meets new challenges.

It was expected that the economic recession caused by the pandemic would have led to cut back in R&D expenditure, IP filings, and venture capital. The opposite happened.

Scientific articles published globally surpassed the 2 million mark for the first time in 2021.

Investments in global R&D grew at a rate of 3.3% in 2020, which was lower than 6.1% of 2019, but significant, nonetheless.

Government budget allocation on R&D showed strong growth in 2020. It continued to grow in South Korea and Germany but was cut back by the US and Japan.

Top corporate R&D spenders increased their R&D expenditure to over 900 billion USD in 2021. The increase was mainly driven by four industries: ICT hardware and electrical equipment; Software and ICT services; Pharmaceutical and biotechnology; and Construction and industry metals.

IP filing activity grew during pandemic in 2020 and 2021. International trademark filings were up 15%.

The biggest boom was in venture capital. VC deals grew by 46% in 2021. The outlook for 2022 shows possible decline due to tightening of monetary policies, and the knock-on effect on risk capital.

Technological progress, adoption and innovation’s socioeconomic impact, all show signs of weakness – the future of innovation-driven growth is at stake.

Indicators of technological progress in the fields of semiconductor speed, electric battery prices, the cost of renewable energy (except wind), and drug approvals in the US, show a slowdown.

Technology adoption, such as EVs – Electric Vehicles is progressing, though it is still beyond the reach of common people. Mobile broadband has become accessible to almost everyone meanwhile.

Innovation impact on socioeconomic development is at a low point. Productivity growth, the metric used to gauge whether living standard can be improved over time, is at its lowest level ever. The ability of innovation to create future growth is under serious question.

About the future of innovation-driven growth, the innovation pessimists predict that low productivity shall continue, because breakthrough innovations of the previous centuries, such as electricity, are too difficult to come. On the contrary, the innovation optimists predict a new economic and social era due to massive new innovations. Two novel innovation waves are of particular interest: an upcoming Digital Age Innovation Wave, built on supercomputing, artificial intelligence, and automation, that will make ample impact on productivity; and a Deep Science Innovation Wave, built on breakthroughs in biotechnologies, nanotechnologies, new materials, and revolutionizing innovations in four fields of key importance to society – health, food, environment, and mobility.

The positive effects of these waves will take long time to materialize, due mainly to obstacles in the areas of technology adoption and diffusion among industries and socioeconomic strata.

About GII 2022 Rankings

Switzerland, for the 12th year in a row, ranks number #1.

USA has climbed to #2 rank.

Sweden is at #3, UK at #4, the Netherlands at #5, and South Korea at #6.

China moves up to #11, overtaking France, and firmly remains the only middle-income country within the GII top 30.

Canada is back among top 15 global innovators, at #15.

Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania (SEAO) is the only region closing the gap on North America and Europe. Two SEAO economies are among top 10 global innovators: South Korea at #6, and Singapore at #7.

Türkiye at #37, and India at #40, enter the top 40 for the first time.

Vietnam at #48, Iran at #53, and Philippines at #59, are the middle-income economies with the fastest innovation catch-up to-date.

The top economies within the Northern Africa and Western Asia region are Israel at #16, and UAE at #31.

Chile at #50 is the only Latin American country in the top 50, followed by Brazil at #54, and Mexico at #58.

Mauritius at #45, and South Africa at #61 lead the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

India at #40, Iran at #53, and for the first time, Uzbekistan at #82, and Pakistan at #87 lead the Central and Southern Asia region.

India, Kenya, Moldova, and Vietnam hold the record by outperforming for the 12th year in a row.

26 countries are performing above expectation on innovation relative to their level of economic development. These include Indonesia at #75, Uzbekistan at #82, and Pakistan at #87.

The fact that Pakistan is still somewhere in innovation is all due to the effort of people and individual corporates. Government had hardly any role in it, if at all it had.


Disclaimer: Most pictures in these blogs are taken from Google Images and Pexels. Credit is given where known; some do not show copyright ownership. However, if a claim is lodged at any stage, we shall either mention the ownership clearly, or remove the picture with suitable regrets.


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