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Phl climbs 3 notches in global innovation index

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The Philippines climbed three spots to 56th in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2023 out of 132 economies in the GII report. It also continued performing above expectations for its level of development based on its GDP per capita as it effectively turned costly innovation investments into more and higher-quality outputs.

The improvement of the Philippine innovation ranking is a welcome development. But we have to continue being dissatisfied – dissatisfied not just in our current posture in the global innovation map but in the current way of things around us, whether products, solutions, systems, processes or practices. We need to develop among Filipinos a mindset that continuously innovates to challenge the norm until such a time that innovating becomes our norm.

A bright spot we see in the latest GII is that our innovation inputs improved for the first time since 2020, jumping by seven spots to 69th from 76th in 2022 and by 13 spots from 82nd in 2018 – the year before the game-changing Philippine Innovation Law and Philippine Startup Act came into law.

The rise in innovation inputs could mean that the fundamental resources and conditions that make a vibrant innovation ecosystem are close within our reach. For one, our ranking in the Credit sub-pillar — which moved out from being a weakness last year — soared by 57 spots this year (from 115th to 58th), reflecting improved accessibility and availability of financing which had been the primary obstacles to startups. Investments grew by four rungs (from 55th to 51st) as more venture capitalists invested in the country, raising venture capital deals received both in number and in value.

Innovation linkages also rose by 12 spots (from 91st to 79th), encouraging stronger collaboration across the innovation terrains and highlighting the bigger role our Innovation and Technology Support Offices (ITSO) Program will play as the University-Industry R&D Collaboration indicator grew by seven spots (from 64th to 57th).

From here, Filipinos need to urgently produce more knowledge assets that positively impact markets and society, in effect, reversing the decline of our innovation outputs to 52nd from 51st in 2022 and 40th in 2021.

But we recognize that innovating in these times will also be challenging amid high inflation, monetary tightening policies and geopolitical tensions as raised by WIPO Director General Daren Tang as causes for caution. The report noted that after a boom in 2021, innovation finance through venture capital investments declined by 40% last year while international patent applications recorded the slowest rate of increase since 2009, although still achieving a record 280,000 applications.

As a member of the National Innovation Council and ex-officio member of the Philippine Creative Industries Development Council, IPOPHL will continue to innovate our systems and practices to make the IP protection process much more efficient and accessible for rights holders. We will continue to expand the reach of our services, development assistance and awareness campaigns so that more Filipinos across the regions could take advantage and be part of our fast-improving innovation environment.

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